Brendan Rodgers seemed cool about the prospect of signing Suso to an extension earlier in the week, assuring the press that the process of having the promising youngster on board beyond next year was all but finished. That lined up with statements attributed to the player from a Spanish radio interview from last week, in which he discussed his happiness on Merseyside and how he was more than willing to commit himself to Liverpool for more than just the coming year.
And yet there was still a bit of nervousness and uncertainty, at least for me--talk of a return to Spain bothered, and given Liverpool's current struggles, wouldn't have come as a complete shock. Playing time wouldn't come immediately in his home country, but it's likely the success would have, and if there was any short-sightedness on his part, his days with Liverpool very well could have been numbered.
But the worrying proves unfounded today, as Suso signed on for a "long-term" contract with the club and spoke of his joy at being able to stick around beyond 2013. For all their failing at the end of the summer window, it's another victory for Liverpool in keeping their most promising and talented squad members; Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, and now Suso (with an extension for Raheem Sterling also reportedly in the works) have added years onto their existing deals in the past few months, which is a rare tribute to the work done by those behind the scenes.
It's easy to see where Suso fits moving forward under Brendan Rodgers, with the manager speaking positively about the "arrogance" the young midfielder has in possession, a quality that is critical in a possession-based style. His duties as a winger may continue while the club waits for reinforcements, but he seems most comfortable and effective through the middle, spreading play and linking up with the forwards from an advanced position. He's already shown signs of a terrific understanding with Luis Suarez, playing the striker into space with perfectly-weighted and timed through balls and providing the support that the Uruguayan's so desperately needed.
There's really nothing but joy to feel with this one--a player for the present (even if it's a little rushed) and the future, and one that'll undoubtedly make Liverpool a better team. Congratulations to him and Liverpool, and let's hope his extended stay is one that sees success for both player and club.