Date: 21st November 2012 at 5:30pm
Written by:

MUCH has been made about a certain youngster bursting on to the main stage this season and challenging opposition players almost twice his age and size with his pace and trickery.

That youngster of course is Raheem Sterling, now an England international.

But while his impact on the team is every bit as praiseworthy as it has been, another youngster seems to be quietly making his own mark on the Reds as well. That would be a certain 19 year old Spaniard by the name Suso.

From the moment he was brought on against Chelsea last week, Liverpool seemed to have a symmetrical homogeneity in their wing-play, not seen for a very long time.

Over the years, the club has had some stellar wingers donning the red shirt but they’ve always performed well individually, while the opposite side doesn’t contribute as much.

Harry Kewell (when he was fit) did the job from the left but by the time Jermaine Pennant signed on and began to show glimpses of why Rafa Benitez bought him, the Australian’s bad luck with injury started playing up again.

Ryan Babel was signed and turned in decent performances every now and again but he was preferred on the left at the same time as Albert Riera in the side – another left sided player.

The right side then got handed to Dirk Kuyt, who made that position his own and for one season, the Liverpool attack turned in one stellar performance after another.

The Dutchman contributed along with the combined efforts of Riera and Babel from the left, along with Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Aurelio performing well as full backs.

That was the year the club challenged for the title, and nearly won it.

Last year, there were some decent performances from Stewart Downing and Maxi Rodriguez operating on either side, but any chances created weren’t converted enough and the results were there for all to see – rather painfully at that.

This year though, while Sterling’s shown his abilities down both the flanks, so has the left footed Suso. His passing is already at a decent standard and can only get better. His work rate hasn’t yet been questioned and the lad has decent pace. Given his age, that too could only get better.

This would be the time to encourage both these players to make the wings their own and establish the belief in them that they can indeed tear down the opposition defences by turning their full-backs inside out.

Especially with Luis Suarez now in such good form, defences have already started paying him more attention than others, and while that doesn’t seem to have stopped the Uruguayan, it doesn’t mean his abilities should be the only trump card in Brendan Rodgers’ repertoire.

A combined threat of his slick play and the sharpness of both Sterling and Suso need to be put in to use immediately.

Give the opposition a reason to be confused, in terms of whom to put an extra defender on.

Right now, despite Suarez’s performances, it’s all too easy for defenders to know which one to keep looking over their shoulder for.

Turn that number in to three – if not more. It’ll only help.

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