Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the Lionel Messi-like character of Luis Suarez after the striker scored twice in the 3-0 defeat of Sunderland on Wednesday night.
The Uruguay international took his Premier League tally to 15 for the season – the first Liverpool player to do so since Fernando Torres in 2009-10 – as he followed Raheem Sterling’s clever lob which itself had elements of the Barcelona star.
Rodgers was not comparing the two South Americans in terms of talent but attitude, although the form Suarez is in at the moment he is quickly escalating himself into one of the best in the world.
“When you work with players like Luis Suarez, he is a Messi-type character in terms of he is angry when I give him a breather,” said the Reds boss.
“At the start of the season I tried to rest him and he didn’t want it.
“He is a player that to be at his top of his game has to play two or three times a week, one game is not enough.
“He needs to be playing and you see the response you get from him.
“His work has never dropped, he is a real team player, he trains every single day, is never in the treatment room and then he goes out and performs.”
Rodgers felt Suarez was benefiting from the new possession style of football he has introduced at Anfield since arriving in the summer.
“As the ball moves he gets the chance to move into spaces - if he plays in a style which is direct he doesn’t get a chance to move,” added the manager.
“In a structure where the team is moving and the ball is moving his cleverness and intelligence finds the space and you can see he is thriving in the team at the moment.
“It will be fantastic to see him develop because I think there is a long way to go in his development.”