Amongst Liverpool fans, there are few youngsters at the club more highly regarded than Suso. Rumours the 20-year-old midfielder could be on his way to Portugal earlier in the summer, or could be included as part of Liverpool's attempts to land Alberto Moreno, were mostly met with disbelief and incredulity.
Suso, for many, represents the club's academy-trained future just as much as Raheem Sterling does. The problem, though, is finding room for him in an increasingly deep lineup at a time in his career when he needs to start regularly to achieve his potential. Last season, that meant heading out on loan. This time around, the goal is to stay.
"We are working every day, double sessions with the team," he said. "We have big games in America as well and I think they will work for us, because we have to get fitness and improve as a team. Training and fitness is really important, but games are too because you are going to play games every weekend."
The young Spaniard made made 20 appearances in all competitions in 2012-13, breaking into the first team alongside Raheem Sterling. Last season, though, while Sterling staked his claim, Suso headed to Almeria on loan in search of starting minutes and, for the most part, found them along with three goals and nine assists.
"The manager will put in the team the ones that are better," he continued. "If someone is playing better, they will have more chances. He sees the games but he also sees training every morning and afternoon, how we work. The one that works hard is the one who is going to play."
Back in training ahead of the return of Sterling and Liverpool's other World Cup stars, Suso will have three games and a handful of weeks to impress before competition for places in the first team becomes far more intense. And that's the goal—to get himself into the first team and ensure his future is at Liverpool.
"What I want is to play for this team. I wish I could start every game for this club. I want to be here for a lot of years because I like everything here—the city, the country, the language, everything. It's really good to be here; I'm really happy, it's like a dream."