Enrique: Suarez key to Reds hopes

  • Last Updated: May 24 2013, 15:02 BST

Liverpool's Jose Enrique admits Luis Suarez could play for any team in the world but he hopes the striker will stay at Anfield.

Jose Enrique: Hopes Suarez (l) will stay at Anfield
Jose Enrique: Hopes Suarez (l) will stay at Anfield

The Reds are set for a summer of speculation surrounding their star forward, scorer of 30 goals this season, as they face another campaign without Champions League football.

A host of Europe's top clubs have been linked with the 26-year-old, who has three years remaining on a contract signed last August.

One of those, Bayern Munich, could be crowed Champions League winners at Wembley tomorrow and offer a glimpse of what may be available to Suarez should he look elsewhere.

So far the South American appears to be content with life at Anfield but Enrique knows it is imperative to Liverpool's fortunes that they hang on to Suarez.

"Of course we want to keep him. He is our key player," Enrique told Press Association Sport.

"We've not had a great season in terms of our league position but Luis is there as our top scorer.

"For me he can play in any team in the world. If I was a manager I would have him anywhere. Not only for his goals but for how his character is.

"He is the type of player like if you play with Messi: he does impossible things. He does something out of nothing.

"I think if we keep him we will have a good season next season, for sure.

"We don't want to lose Luis because he is a top player but you never know. But if he goes, someone else has to come.

"Hopefully if that happens it will be a good player."

Suarez will be suspended for the first six matches of next season as he serves the remainder of his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last month.

Various assessments were made as to why he did that but the general conclusion from those from manager Brendan Rodgers to his team-mates have put it down to his character and will to win.

"There is no excuse for what he did and he got a 10-match ban," said Enrique.

"It was bad for us because he is a top player but his personality meant he wanted to win.

"He has made a few mistakes but even so he is a winner and I love him as a player.

"The way the press portray Luis, a lot of people don't like him, but even training with him every day he is amazing."

Enrique appeared to strike up a useful link with Suarez last season, providing a number of assists for the striker which is testament to the left-back's attacking intent.

The most memorable goal from their partnership was when Suarez brilliantly converted Enrique's 50-yard pass in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle at Anfield in November.

The defender, however, deferred all credit to his team-mate.

"I made the pass against Newcastle and people were saying 'What a pass', but what a goal from him. He did everything," Enrique added.

"I don't spend that much time with him off the pitch but on the pitch it is really to understand him."

While the future of Suarez may have a significant bearing on Liverpool's chance of catching the top four next season, Reds chairman Tom Werner claims manager Rodgers has made "remarkable progress" during his first year in charge.

The Northern Irishman succeeded Kenny Dalglish last June after the Scot was dismissed by owners Fenway Sports Group.

In Premier League terms, Rodgers improved one place on Dalglish's final league position of eighth, and cut the deficit to the top four from 17 to 12 points.

Liverpool scored 71 goals in the league, 24 more than last season, but results were not consistent enough, with many of those goals coming in one-sided hammerings of teams below them.

However, they managed just one victory (at home to Tottenham in March) in the 12 matches against the top six.

"I think Brendan has made remarkable progress," Werner told the Liverpool Echo.

"He's a great strategist and has shown strong leadership as he has led the team through this season.

"Obviously there is disappointment that we didn't finish higher in the table but the team has certainly improved as the season has gone on.

"The club is definitely moving in the right direction under Brendan.

"Our intention is to strengthen the squad further this summer and as owners we're very optimistic and excited about the future."


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