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01 December 2023

Suarez is player of year, insists Liverpool boss

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his third goal to complete a hat-trick during the Barclays Premier League match against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Wigan, England. (GETTY)


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes in-form striker Luis Suarez should be named player of the year after the Uruguayan grabbed a hat-trick in the 4-0 win at Wigan.

Suarez took his Premier League goal tally for the season to 21 - and 28 in all competitions - as the Merseysiders moved into seventh spot in the table.

"For me there is not a better striker at the moment," said Rodgers.

"He is clearly the player of the year for myself and for many people around the country. He is absolutely incredible. Forget about his quality, it is his hunger and desire.

"He never wants to have an easy day and every time he comes onto the pitch he produces stunning performances and gives his maximum.

"It was a brilliant hat-trick for him and a great day for the team: to get the goals and a clean sheet was terrific."

Stewart Downing's headed opener put Liverpool in front inside two minutes and Suarez struck twice before half-time and then early in the second half to pull in front of Manchester United's Robin van Persie in the top scorers chart.

Liverpool now lie just five points below the European qualifying berths, although fifth-place Arsenal have a game in hand at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Wigan stay above the bottom three on goal difference alone and remain a model of inconsistency, having stormed to an impressive 3-0 success at relegation rival Reading in their previous outing last weekend.

Rodgers added that he is unconcerned that Suarez may want to leave Anfield in the summer in search of Champions League football next season.

"There will always be interest in top players and he is a world class player," said the Liverpool manager.

"I speak regularly with Luis and I had a good meeting with his agent a few weeks ago who expressed how much he wants to be a part of things going forward.

"He has is a real affinity here with the players, he is a real leader within the group for us, the supporters adore him, he loves the city and I think he genuinely sees there is a bright future for us.

"It is one where it could have been easy for him to walk out last summer (he instead signed a new contract) but he didn't and he is very happy."