Rodgers says Suarez aware he ‘owes Liverpool’ ahead of likely League Cup return
According to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, striker Luis Suarez has trained “really hard, really well”, and his return to the squad after his 10-match ban for tomorrow night’s League Cup clash with Manchester United represents “perfect timing”. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Brendan Rodgers has said Luis Suarez is aware he owes Liverpool following his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and will be committed to the shirt upon his return against Manchester United.
The Liverpool manager claimed Suarez was “champing at the bit” to start tomorrow’s League Cup third-round tie, an unfortunate phrase in the circumstances, but insisted he was undecided if the striker will start at Old Trafford.
The Uruguay international last played competitively for Liverpool on April 21st, though he featured in two recent World Cup qualifiers plus the Confederations Cup during his suspension, and also played in several behind-closed-doors matches at the club’s Melwood training ground.
Liverpool lost only one of the 10 matches without Suarez, the final game of his ban against Southampton on Saturday. But having missed 20 games through suspension over the past three seasons the striker, Rodgers believes, knows he needs to repay the Anfield club.
‘Work his socks off’
“I’m sure he does [know he owes Liverpool], I’m sure he does,” said Rodgers. “You’ll find out that once he gets that strip on he’ll work his socks off.
“He’s trained really hard, really well, and his entrance to come back into the squad now is perfect timing. We’ve got a few injuries and the big thing is he’s now available. To have someone of that quality to come into the squad is good.”
Liverpool’s support during the Ivanovic suspension and over the racism controversy with United’s Patrice Evra did not prevent Suarez pressing in vain for a transfer to Arsenal over the summer. But Rodgers, whom the striker accused of breaking a promise that he could join a Champions League-qualified club, insists he has no reservations about the 26-year-old’s commitment.
“I do sense he is committed, absolutely,” the Liverpool manager said. “I think that’s the one thing about Luis Suarez, because of the type of character he is, that when he plays football he can’t play it any other way.”
Rodgers, is likely to be without Daniel Agger against United due to a rib injury.–