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Rodgers backs Suarez for PFA gong

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez's nomination for the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year award is a credit to his team-mates who have helped the Uruguayan snare 22 Premier League goals this season.

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Suarez, 26, was nominated alongside Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale, Michael Carrick, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, with the Liverpool striker tipped to be overlooked for the award due to his lack of popularity among his fellow professionals.

But Rodgers believes Suarez's goal tally is significant for a seventh-placed team and believes his achievements are greater than van Persie and Bale.

"It's great for him and it's also a mark of the team," Rodgers said. "He will say himself he has got great support from the players around him. But for him his role and function in the team has been absolutely outstanding and I'm sure he'll be one of the favourites to win it.

"The players that have been mentioned are top-quality players - players like Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie have had outstanding seasons. But I can only look at Luis as a player. I don't think there is any club in the country that wouldn't want him in their team.

"What he has done for us this season has been amazing. He would certainly be my favourite for it - and he'd thoroughly deserve it."

Manchester United earned three nominations, with Danny Welbeck joining van Persie and Carrick on the shortlist after getting the nod for the Young Player of the Year award.

Sir Alex Ferguson insists van Persie's sleamless transition into life at Old Trafford has made him the Premier League's most coveted player, while reserving praise for 31-year-old Carrick who has earned his first nomination for the gong.

"I'm delighted," Ferguson told MUTV. "They deserve to be nominated, there's no doubt about that. And I obviously hope one of them wins.

"Robin has had a fantastic season - his goals emphasise the impact he has made at our club. And I think this is Michael's best ever season at United. He's been absolutely magnificent. Both of them deserve to be there and I hope one of them wins it.

"It's amazing Michael has had to wait until he's 31 to get nominated for anything! He really deserves it. Danny has also shown some great performances this season for us and his country, and I'm delighted for him too."


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