JESUS ‘Suso’ Fernandez Saez started his career at the youth ranks of Spanish side Cadiz CF. Former Cadiz youth coach Quique Gonzalez described him as a player with exceptional crossing, passing and dribbling skills.
“He has great quality, a good shot – his vision is great and his passing is outstanding,” he said.
In 2008, at a tender age of 15, Suso joined Liverpool. As a youngster he looked at Cesc Fabregas and thought the English game could help in his development:
“I always liked the Barclays Premier League more than La Liga and I decided that it would be better for me to come here,” he said. He rejected offers from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Villarreal to complete his move to England.
After signing, Suso went straight back out to Cadiz on loan until he was old enough to gain a permit to complete the transfer and then came straight into the Liverpool under 18’s team. After only few months he impressed immediately with his composure and intelligence and earned himself promotion to the reserves. Although he prefers to play on the left wing, he was deployed in a new role to play on the right wing allowing him to cut in and use his natural left foot. It didn’t take much time for him to adapt to the new role, he even has the ability to track back and dictate terms by playing in the central midfield with his short and long passes.
Marking his 17th birthday on 19th November 2010 he signed his first professional contract for Liverpool. The midfielder is yet to make his official debut for Liverpool’s first team, though he did take part in Jamie Carragher’s testimonial, as well as a pre-season friendly against Borussia Moenchengladbach in 2010.
“Keep your eye on Suso, the Liverpool player who will now be playing for Spain Under-19s at their European Championship. I tell you, he has promise.”
Despite being relatively unknown in Spain prior to the European U-19 Championship, a series of brilliant performances ensured that the midfielder’s name is now everywhere. This tournament has definitely done a world of good for players like Suso to make a claim for more responsibility with their club and senior national teams. If he continues the same form then I would be least surprised to see him become part of new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ first team squad at some stage next season.
Suso is a tricky winger who is inspiring excitement among Liverpool fans and coaches alike. He is blessed with great passing, crossing and dribbling skills. His eye for a pass and trickery has led to the comparisons with Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.
The young Spaniard is arguably the most technically gifted player in Liverpool’s youth ranks. He has everything in his game; magical touch, incredible vision, passing range of Xabi Alonso and a shot like Steven Gerrard with both feet and a keen eye for goal. Suso has perhaps the sweetest left foot at the club’s Kirkby academy, and perhaps the best to come out of the youth ranks since Robbie Fowler.
But, as many young Premier League hopefuls find, creative players often struggle to adapt to the English game if they don’t bulk up physically. Suso, like his Liverpool academy teammate Dani Pacheco, is slight in build – something that is a cause of concern for the Liverpool hierarchy.
“He needs to know about the discipline and work that’s required in a team, like tracking back, tackling and staying with runners,” admitted former Liverpool reserve team boss John McMahon.
Suso recognises the immediate differences between the Spanish and English styles: “The game here requires you to run a lot more. For that reason it is more difficult.”
But the old-school English philosophy is beginning to rub off on the young Spaniard. “I need to improve my intensity and my defending,” he said. “In few reserve games I’ve played in central midfield to help me do that. I know that I have to get better in that area.”
What Lies Ahead For Him
Suso hasn’t featured for the first-team yet, he however is the archetypal Rodgers player – who seemingly prefers ballplayers to destroyers in midfield – and at the very least he should get a chance to impress in few matches this season along with a selection of few reserve players. He seems the perfect fit for a place in the Liverpool midfield, and fans will be that hoping he eventually makes a similar sort of impact to the one that his compatriot Xabi Alonso made at Anfield.
Suso, along with Raheem Sterling, has been touted as one of the gems that has the potential to come out from the present crop of Liverpool academy graduates and go straight into the first team of Liverpool in the near future. It will be interesting to see what happens to Suso this season now that Liverpool have Brendan Rodgers as manager. Rodgers is known for his work with the youth and after seeing Suso’s progress, he looks excited to work with him.
“He’s a boy I’ve really heard a lot about in terms of his talent. Hopefully I find that working with him in terms of his mentality will be strong and if he does then he’ll have a chance,” said Rodgers.
Recently Suso also has expressed his desire to play for Liverpool first team this season, he certainly knows the fact that Rodgers is keen to work with youngsters, “I hope I get some minutes and a chance to show what I can do, I am really happy at the club and I want to stay”, he said.
There is no doubt about Suso’s flair and inventiveness. However, the young Spaniard faces a tough task to break into the first-team ranks at Anfield.
Weather Rodgers will use him in his Liverpool revolution or not it’s up to him, but in many ways Liverpool has struck gold at the right time when the first team is struggling for their offensive play. Let’s hope for Liverpool’s sake that Suso’s game doesn’t stall through limited opportunities to play in his preferred position. If Liverpool’s number 30 gets his chance on the wing, he looks set to be a star.
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