Despite spending much of the first half of last season in the starting eleven, it's been clear that heading into this season, Suso wouldn't be called upon with any sort of similar frequency despite being widely viewed as one of the more promising youngsters in Liverpool's setup. Talk of a loan for both him and Andre Wisdom grew over the past few weeks, and now, after an impressive run of form in Turkey with Spain's U20s, the club have confirmed that he'll be spending the 2013-2014 season on loan with Almeria.
As Conor noted earlier in the week when rumors first popped up, it's a move that makes sense for all involved, essentially a higher-profile version of the Michael Ngoo loan to Yeovil Town. Almeria will be hoping to establish themselves in La Liga, and while Suso doesn't bring years of experience in the top flight, he'll add quality, depth, and, as Brendan Rodgers put it early last season, an "arrogance on the ball" that can benefit any side in need of confidence in possession.
It'll be interesting to see where Suso lines up for Almeria if and when he does get opportunities; he's operated both centrally and on the right flank at Liverpool, and showed that he can also operate as a deep-lying playmaker while at the World Cup earlier this summer. That might be a role that suits both he and his temporary club, as they likely won't be looking to trade punches with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid--possession and distribution will be paramount, and Suso's skillset fits the bill nicely.
The only bit of hand-wringing (aside from the typical injury worries when a player's away) is that this somehow signals an end to his time in England--essentially that he'll catch on in his homeland and never make his way back. I'm not in the camp that's overly concerned about that, as he seems too good a fit for Brendan Rodgers' system, and after the glimpses of his promise we were afforded last season, it'd be hard to fathom that the club would be using this as anything other than a chance to get well-deserved first-team minutes for a player who's outgrown the academy.
So once again, best of luck to Suso and Almeria this season, and let's hope that this season proves useful in helping him develop into an integral part of Liverpool's future for years to come.