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Suarez Hoping to Keep the Squad Together

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Transfer season always brings uncertainty, but with Luis Suarez talking of his hopes of keeping Liverpool's squad together, the uncertainty may be limited to how potential incomings would fit in.

Alex Livesey

As in 2009, Liverpool may have come up ever so painfully short in their efforts to capture their first title of the Premier League era. Yet with a younger squad filled with players still not in their primes and stable, supportive ownership, for many there is far more reason to hope. To hope that, this time around, Liverpool use their not quite as a building block rather than having it stand as a high point.

That hope could face a tough test this summer, with a departures inevitable and, as always, the risk of one of the club's key players becoming unsettled. In 2009 that player was Xabi Alonso, key to midfield but unsettled by attempts to swap him out for Gareth Barry and cash the year before, when his form had been relatively poor and the owners unwilling to provide the necessary funds without sales.

This year, if there is to be an unsettled player, it seems likely to be for rather different reasons. And most would guess, if forced to pick, that that unsettled player would most likely end up being Luis Suarez. He seems far happier than heading into last summer, and Liverpool are heading for the Champions League, but having gone through last year's saga a few doubts are only natural.

"This has been the best season of my career," said Suarez, looking back on a stellar season before looking to a future that has him staying at the club. "It is great that we have achieved Champions League football and I have taken a lot of praise for being top scorer, so it’s been a nice season for me. But I recognise much more the work of my teammates. They have done a great job.

"If we all stay together, we can stay at this level. We have good players and a really good manager. Of course we will need a bigger, stronger squad. We have a really good squad, but a short squad. Everyone knows we have a good base, but we will need more players because we will be fighting in four competitions."

Four competitions, including a return to the Champions League. It certainly will take a few top signings. It will also take keeping Luis Suarez around. After having done the hard work on that front last summer, though, it looks as if Liverpool may not have to do much on that front to convince a player who seems entirely settled, happy, and at a club increasingly able to match his own ambitions.

Of course there's still the small issue of getting those top signings right, though that's a rather nicer dilemma to have than worrying over how to replace the seemingly irreplaceable.