“I think that he has everything needed to succeed there. He can dribble well and does have great vision. He could be effective playing in the middle. “He can score goals. He likes to go into the area as part of the second wave. I think they have signed a jewel.”
Former Cadiz youth team Coach Quique Gonzalez on Suso after signing for Liverpool
The 2012/13 pre-season was the beginning of a new chapter for the boy from Cadiz, who showed glimpses of his Spanish genes in the games played in the USA tour. His performances in those games forced Brendan Rodgers to try him out in Premier League games and Suso deservedly he made his league debut against Manchester United at Anfield. He ended up with a respectable total of 20 appearances in all competitions in that season.
His talent was evident in that season but game time was always going to be a major factor for him to continue to develop as a player and with Liverpool adding Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas to their squad in the summer of 2012, Rodgers decided to loan him out in the 2013/14 season.
Almeria was the team Liverpool decided to loan Suso to and now, after playing just 13 league matches, he now looks like a completely different player and many LFC fans have been critical of Rodgers’ decision to loan him out for the entire season.
Liverpool’s idea to loan out Suso was, in theory, a good one, considering game time, experience, technical improvements and other positive factors which should help improve and develop his allround game and make sure he returns to the club a better player than he was when he left.
But, looking at our current midfield, other than Coutinho and Steven Gerrard (largely for set-pieces in Gerrard’s case), LFC don’t pose much of a threat in terms of technical capability and SAS show so far has hidden the fact that LFC’s midfield is poor and weak and less-creative. But how good are Suso’s stats at Almeria?
Has he done better than Liverpool incumbent starting midfielders?
Almeria consider him to be their main man by and this is consolidated by the fact that he has played over 83 %( 1120 minutes) of Almeria’s total game time.
He has assisted 5 of Almeria’s goals and it includes 4 from Open Play and one from Set-Piece (corner)
The assists might have been the factors for many to consider bring him back from loan in January along with the fact that assists from Liverpool’s midfielders are quite less with Henderson (1), Steve (5), Lucas (0), and Coutinho (1), Moses (0). Coutinho played only 9 games and Lucas was given a defensive role in the side might support their case. But against teams like Southampton, Arsenal and Hull city, Liverpool have lacked the cutting edge from the midfield.
Suso has been lively in the Spanish league and stats tell us that he has created 16 chances (including Assists) for his team.
This gives the little Spaniard an average of 1.2 chances/game with a chance every 70 minutes.
Henderson has created a chance every 59 minutes but still has only 1 assist. StevieG has created 30 chances with 5 assists. If Suso had created those chances in a better team with better strikers, he could have easily ended up with lot more assists to his name.
But his passing stats are even more impressive. For a team like Almeria, who don’t pass the ball much, Suso has done well in all the one thirds of the pitch,
He has amassed 69% success in the attacking third, 82% in middle third and 89.2% in defensive third. While his attacking passes aren’t as good, his passing success in midfield is quite impressive. He has had less defensive duties to perform with only 27 passes to make of which he made 22 successful passes.
Suso has made almost 9% of Almeria’s passes this season which definitely shows his role in their team, which was certainly needed for his development as an all-round player. Almeria (just promoted) aren’t a passing team to be precise and maybe Rodgers might have made a mistake of loaning him out to the wrong club and clubs like Bilbao, Vallecano would have suited Suso much better in terms of passing, game technique and trainings there would have been a replica of BR’s tactical philosophy.
Nevertheless Suso has developed so far and his overall performance in the league (against every opposition) tells us he has certainly improved as a player and has made some significant contributions to the team.
Against top teams like Barca, Madrid and Atletico, he hasn’t done much and that might be the only worrying factor so far in his season.
The two goals he scored have come up against Celta Vigo and Levante and were scored from outside the box and were clinical finishes.
Suso has a cross success of 26% (16/62) which includes 2 assist.
Overall Suso Stats:
- Total Appearance: 13 starts
- Total game time: 1120 minutes
- Shots: 24 overall with 48.7 minutes/shot
- Crosses: 62 overall with 18 minutes/cross
- Shot on target: 140 minutes/shot on target with 50% success
- Tackles: 19/37 success, 51% success
- Chances created: 16 with 1.23/game with 7-Open play and 9-Set Piece
- Assists: overall 5 with 4 from Open play and 1 from Set-piece.
- Goals: 2 goals, both from outside the box.
And to sum it up, compared his performance with other top young players in Europe. People might not completely agree with me here, but he has done remarkably well in 13 games given the factors like team, opposition, teammates and many more factors were against him.
To conclude, I still feel Suso should have been sent to a better team with better playing style and philosophy (similar to LFC) but with playing time in mind, it would seem that Almeria was the idea destination for him.
Hopefully with this good form in first 13 games of La Liga season, the next 25 games for Suso might be his career building steps and it would act as a perfect platform for him to come back to Liverpool and playing a starring role next season.