Competition for places, particularly in the attacking areas of the side, look set to be extremely high this coming season with the additions of Alberto, Aspas and possibly more.
With Liverpool having already signed two attacking players this summer in Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto the competition for a first team place is only getting stronger. There are strong rumours about Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining and so where does that leave Liverpool‘s young guns?
I’m going to be focusing on Suso in this article as he’s a player who can play in a multitude of positions and he’s a player that I believe (along with many others), can go on to become an instrumental player for LFC for years to come.
There are 3 positions that Suso has played in reasonably regularly, either for Liverpool‘s first team, U21’s or the Spanish U21’s/U20’s.
He played for the first team 20 times last season and primarily featured on the right of a front three. He played as an inverted winger which allowed Glen Johnson or who ever else was behind up to get forward. As he’s left footed this allowed to him to drift inside and look to get a shot in, Rodgers seems to be a fan of playing left footers on the right and right footers on the right for this reason.
Last season he lost his position to Downing who improved as the season went on, but I think it’s fair to say most Liverpool fans are hoping that he won’t be Liverpool‘s first choice on the right wing come the start of next season.
In terms of competition for the position next season he will also be up against new boy Iago Aspas, although primarily a striker he has often played on wing and with Sturridge set to be Liverpool‘s main striker Aspas will probably be looking to make the right wing role his own.
I haven’t seen Luis Alberto play before but with him being right footed I presume that he will be used either on the left wing or playing in behind Sturridge. But he, along with Sterling and Borini could play right wing as well.
Suso could also play off the main striker, but he is up against top opposition in Phillipe Coutinho and if Suarez is still here I’d expect that he’d start in that position. Liverpool are consistently linked with other attacking players such as Eriksen and Mkhitaryan and so I doubt Suso would get much, if any, game time in this position this season especially without European football.
Another position he could play is as a deep playmaker, like Gerrard was doing for us last season. He hasn’t played in this position a great deal but when I’ve seen him there he has always really impressed me.
He recently played there for Spain in the U20 World Cup and kept the ball moving well and as well as that also helped drive the game forward; by going on bursts forward or by looking to play an incisive through ball. But again the problem is for Suso that he has alot of competition for this position, obviously Gerrard will be first choice and will only not play if he is injured, and then I’d expect Allen and Henderson to be ahead of Suso in the pecking order.
After assessing where Suso plays and who he is/could be up against it looks like he won’t be getting much game time this season.
Loan the solution?
He could continue to play for the U21 side but I think he should be playing at a higher level than that. The ideal scenario would be if he could go out on loan to another passing Premier League team where he is a first team player. But is this realistic? A team like Swansea, Southampton or even Fulham would be great for him to go to, but only if he would play, and I doubt he would be able to get into any of their first teams.
I think it would be best for him if he went to a good Championship team who played good football where he would start most weeks. I’m by no means an expert on Championship football but teams like Wigan, Brighton and possibly Reading play good football and I think that Suso would be able to gain valuable experience there.
I’m interested to hear what you think, would you prefer if he stayed at Liverpool next season? Or do you also want him to go out on loan so he can get some more first team football? You can leave a comment below or you can tweet me at @JLwi11iams.