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Oct 2, 2012

Suso set for new deal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is set to offer youngster Suso a new contract as a reward for his impressive displays this season.

Suso, 18, who joined the club's youth academy from Cadiz in 2010, was handed his debut in the 5-3 defeat of Young Boys in the Europa League by Rodgers, before going on to feature in the club's last three games.

The Spain Under-19 international, who turned down Real Madrid to come to Anfield, was rumoured to be on his way out in the summer but the former Swansea boss is now determined to tie him down to the club.

"He's in the last year of his contract, and it's something we will look at," Rodgers said in the Mirror. "We did have a couple of offers for Suso in the summer, but I always said I didn't want him to go. I felt we had a very good young player so let's keep him here and we will see where he is in a couple of years. We had offers for him to go abroad but he was keen to stay, he understood he was going to get a chance here.

"He is tactically very good, strong technically with the ball. He makes things happen. I love that type of player. Talent finds space. He is a real talent. He is in the reckoning and he is a good kid as well. I have noticed a big progression in him from the pre-season tour of America - I have seen a real difference in the last couple of months and he has got a good appetite for the game. He is on the same page in terms of the tactical idea for the team. If his fight matches his talent we will have a very good player."

Fellow youngsters Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom are also set to be offered new deals after proving to be a shining light in a season that has not started as well as Rodgers would have hoped for.

With Andy Carroll allowed to leave on loan to West Ham and no replacement brought in, Liverpool were left with just two senior strikers, opening the door for the likes of Suso and Sterling, 17, in attack - while Wisdom, 19, has slotted in well at full-back.

"It's funny how things work out. Maybe it's fate," Rodgers said. "Maybe this is all part of the story. Sometimes things happen by design, others by necessity. Whichever way, the plan between the window closing and January was to see how many of the young, talented players are going to be able to come into our squad - and I've been very, very pleased by the impact they've made.

"They have played with no fear, but I always say young players will run through a barbed wire fence for you. You have seen that in games. It's also a great demonstration that with talent and spirit and belief and hard work what you can achieve, not matter how young you are."

Rodgers was more than pleased by the performances of his teenage trio in the 5-2 win over Norwich at the weekend, and he admits their work-rate and attitude makes it easy to pick them at the expense of more established stars, such as Stewart Downing.

"Yes, it makes my job easy. In fact, my job couldn't be easier because if you are fighting and someone else isn't, there isn't even a... it is so easy," he added. "Lots of others in the team are putting their bodies on the line and the ones that don't stand out like a sore thumb.

"There is no problem and for me status does not matter. It is what you are like as a player. It doesn't matter how much money you have come for, that doesn't matter to me. I will play a 17-year-old if he fights and he has quality."

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