Brendan Rodgers hails a more mature Luis Suarez
Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez has matured on and off the field since the biting incident the Uruguayan was involved in the last time Liverpool played Chelsea in the Premier League.
A little over 12 months ago Suarez was beginning a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in one of the most bizarre incidents of last season.
The pair look set to lock horns again in the Super Sunday clash at Anfield, with the 27-year-old playing arguably some of the best football of his career.
Suarez has scored 30 league goals in as many matches and his manager believes he would be a worthy winner of the PFA Player of the Year title which is awarded in London on Sunday evening.
"He is a brilliant talent. I think the supporters have seen him mature over the course of the last season," said Rodgers.
"I think he was in a real low moment after that game (against Chelsea last year) but he has gone away and probably looked in the mirror and reflected on himself because he is not that type of guy and it probably just spilled over.
"He is a really intelligent man who fits the values of this club, which is all about humility, class and he has all of that.
"He is a sheer winner and that probably overspilled last year, but his development over the last year has been remarkable both on and off the field and Liverpool have benefited from that.
"For me he is the consistently outstanding player over the course of the last year."
Jose Mourinho suggested he may field a weakened side for the clash at Anfield ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, but Rodgers is not buying it.
"They are an outstanding team with lots of good players and a world-class manager," he said.
"Thankfully for us, we’re playing at Anfield, where we have great support behind us and they’ll be important.
"We don’t change. We are a team who are very aggressive in our attack."
Liverpool’s win at Norwich guarantees them Champions League football next season and Rodgers hopes the club’s participation in Europe’s premier competition will help attract players that can take the club even further forward.
"We’re going to need depth to our squad – there’s no question about that," he said.
"And certainly, this summer Liverpool Football Club becomes a really exciting and attractive proposition for players.
"That’s something that we’ll continue to look at and continue to work on, to get those talents into the club to help grow and develop the squad.
"We’ve got targets; we know we need to improve – we’re in the Champions League now, so we can say that."