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Season starts now for Everton


Rodgers: Suarez benefited from stay

Brendan Rodgers remains convinced that Luis Suarez's career was best served by Liverpool's decision to hang onto him in the summer.

Usher: Reds machine clicks into gear
Walsh: Liverpool primed for Arsenal clash

The Uruguayan expressed a desire to leave Anfield in the close season during his ten match suspension but continued his dynamic comeback with a stunning hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Liverpool's next opponents are Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium next Saturday, the Premier League leaders having been confirmed as front-runners had Suarez been allowed to move to a side playing Champions League football.

But Rodgers believed his club acted wisely in digging their heels in and keeping hold of a man whose first Anfield hat-trick took his goal tally to six in the five games he has played since returning from suspension.

"He is better off here because we are growing," Rodgers said. "He can grow as well and he has the support of everyone here. Even if we were mid-table, I would maintain this was the place for him to be.

"He is a player of such quality. He has such a high level of performance. What he's incredible at is making something out of nothing.

"He's a wonderful player and I wanted to get him a round of applause from the spectators by taking him off near the end. It's building that relationship up again. That love is there. He wants to be at the highest level like us and, with his performances, he deserves to be at that level."

Rodgers was delighted with the continued excellence of Suarez and fellow scorer Daniel Sturridge as Liverpool inflicted a first away defeat of the season on Albion.

The England international went into double figures for 2013-14 with a magnificent late chip and both players also struck the bar.

Now the manager believes their chemistry will keep the volatile South American happy on Merseyside.

"It was a difficult summer for him but once we told him the club were staying strong with it, he has worked as hard as anyone," he added.

"His attitude has been excellent and his workrate is brilliant, with him and Daniel pressing the ball. I knew he would just get his head down and work because it's his nature.

"He is not one to feign injury and sit in the treatment room. The stand is paying off and it's paying off for him as well."

Rodgers prefers not to aim too high despite Liverpool being pipped only on goal difference to second place going into November.

He made a point of saying in the summer that it generally took ten games for the league table to settle down. That milestone is reached this coming weekend before the side prepare to face Everton in their next away game.

"We're building a squad with confidence," he said. "The football is as good as it has been this year but we can still improve. I believe we will get better.

"It was a brilliant win but we won't get carried away. It should be a terrific game at Arsenal."

Liverpool midfielder Lucas echoed Rodgers' sentiments and insists both Suarez and his team-mates have put the transfer speculation over the summer behind them.

"It shows why the club fought so hard to keep him in the summer,'' said the Brazil international. "What he did last year for us and what he is doing already just shows that is why the club wanted to keep him.

"Liverpool want to keep their best players and he was the best player last year -- and probably the Premier League's best player. We are happy he stayed with us and he is just showing every week how committed he is.

"It doesn't matter what was going on in the summer his mind now is just to help the team, to achieve great things and hopefully it will finish in a positive way in May.

"We see him every training session and we know he loves what he does and when he gets on the pitch he just tries to help, that is why we are so happy for him because he deserves what he is getting.

"No one gets goals and great performances if you don't work hard and of course he is a special talent so he it makes it easier for him."


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