Liverpool’s young Spanish midfielder Suso has spoken of his shock and delight at being thrown into the deep end by manager Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, and says he wants more.
The 18-year-old midfielder, who was brought to Liverpool in 2010 by Rafael Benitez, was thrust into Premier League action for the first time against Manchester United and has remained in the side ever since.
“My first thought was: ‘Oh my God,'” Suso told the Daily Telegraph.
“We were a man down because of Jonjo [Shelvey’s] red card and I couldn’t believe he was picking me to play the second half against Manchester United and not one of the others like [Nuri] Sahin, [Stewart] Downing or [Jordan] Henderson.
“Since then I have started every game in the Premier League. It has been a big change in a short time. Last year I had no expectation to play for the first team but, when Brendan arrived, the first thing he said was how much he liked the young players.”
Rodgers’ faith in Liverpool’s youth has already been displayed with his faith in 17-year-old Raheem Sterling, who has received praise from many following his impressive start to his career. Suso, meanwhile, is entering his third season at Liverpool and is aiming to have a long and successful career at Anfield.
He added: “Raheem and I can give each other support and confidence. Our wish is to be like [Steven] Gerrard and [Jamie] Carragher, to be able to play as many games and be a top player for so long. Playing with Gerrard and [Luis] Suarez is something I will treasure forever.
“In Spain, it is not normal for someone who is only 18 to play for the first team for a club the size of Liverpool. It never happens.
“But Brendan is one of the best people I have ever met and there is no time when he is not talking to you, when he is not trying to help.
“You do not get the chance to play for Liverpool every day, so I knew I had to take it.
“There are some young players who may get to the first team and then think: ‘that’s it, I have done everything I want now’. That’s not what I think. I know I have just started and this is where the hard work starts.”