Lucas may choose to plead ignorance when it comes to Luis Suarez' plans for the future, remaining hopeful Suarez will remain but claiming no special inside knowledge, but captain Steven Gerrard is more confident when it comes to where he thinks the Uruguayan striker will be playing next season. In short, he believes he'll be staying at Anfield.
"Luis has done the right thing by apologising and taking his medicine," Gerrard said. "He’s really unhappy he can’t help the team, and he was really down when the ban came through. But once he is back from his ban, we will be the ones that benefit. Luis will want to make it up to the club and the team that he has been out for so long. He will be desperate to atone for that."
A Suarez who is even more deadly in the attacking third might not seem a bad thing for the club, bu with many speculating that it is his drive to do his all that leads to his occasional outbursts, it's hard not to wonder if a Suarez even more desperate to run and harry and score than the one that snapped and bit Branislav Ivanovic might not be all upside.
More important, though, than how motivated Suarez is on his return are the questions of which club it will be at that he makes that return. With rumours linking him to the likes of Juventus and Bayern once again gathering strength, few fans will be confident of his remaining at Liverpool until the summer window closes. Gerrard, though, sees it differently.
"I don’t think that what’s happened to Luis will affect him much in terms of his future," said the captain. "Maybe one day we will have to accept that Luis wants to move on, and that will be his decision. But I don’t see any signs of it at the moment. Luis has been really happy here at Liverpool and he seems settled here. I don’t see him wanting to leave right now.
"In an ideal world we’d have Luis available because he makes the team a lot stronger. He’s had a phenomenal season, but I have a lot of confidence and belief in the squad of players we have got. We can cope without Luis until the end of the season. Certainly, I don’t go into the game at the weekend feeling we can’t win the game because Luis isn’t there."
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