Editor Paul Wilkes starts a new monthly series looking at the young Spaniards that are fighting to make the grade in the youth systems of England, today is a player who recently made the breakthrough at Liverpool.
Where's he from?
A personal telephone call from Rafa Benitez was enough to persuade the youngster that his future was on Merseyside, until then he was ready to take up Real Madrid's offer, the team he supported as a child. He joined his local club Càdiz (south-west Spain) in 2004, leaving to join 'the reds' in the summer of 2010, simultaneously turning down Barcelona and changing his plans of a move to the capital. He spent four days in Liverpool with his agent Daniel Rodriguez prior to agreeing a two-year contract with an option of an additional two-years, for an initial fee in the region of €64,000. This could rise to as much €750,000 due to appearances, every time he plays 25 matches the Anfield coffers will open, until he has made 75 starts in a red shirt.
What position does he play?
His favoured position is in between the lines, a 2nd striker. There he can dictate the play, pick a pass and drift into areas that are difficult to track. Liverpool Under-21 manager Rodolfo Borrell has been using him on the right-wing in 4-2-3-1, this was to enable him to develop the more defensive side to his game, improve his tactical awareness and teach responsibility. In his early first-team games for Liverpool, he has occupied both these positions. As he is naturally left-footed, it opens up space for his full-back to drive forward. In last summers European Under-19 championships, he often played as part of midfield three, this showed his versatility and willingness to play in any position in order to get game time.
What are his attributes?
Quick feet, a trick or two, powerful shot, awareness, sublime passing ability and lateral movement - are all qualities possessed by the finest of Spain's Premiership chance creators David Silva and Juan Mata - and Suso is no different. His work-rate improved at the back-end of the last campaign after a gentle nudge from Borrell, which has assisted his transition to Brendan Rodgers side. Having been accused of a lack of upper-body strength and looking a little lightweight when he first arrived, he now displays grit and determination as he proved against Premiership battler's Stoke City. Good at dead ball situations, he was just beginning to score more regularly when he received his promotion. During the mini-derby he not only cut a defence open containing Phil Jagilkea, but at one point put his hand up signalling stop to another player that the ball wasn't on - all whilst being in possession just outside the opponents' area.
What's he achieved so far in his career?
This season has seen his first competitive starts for Liverpool, in the Europa and Premier League, as Rodgers has shown faith in his youth system and given chances to players that have displayed the correct attitude. His style of play compliments the system superbly and there's no doubt he will be an important player for years to come. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, he recently took to Spanish radio to confirm that he would be extending his stay in the near future. For club he helped his team to 3rd in the NextGen series and for country he was a key member of the Under-19's triumph in Estonia.
What do others say about him?
"He is tactically very good, strong technically with the ball. He makes things happen. I love that type of player. Talent finds space. He is a real talent. He is in the reckoning and he is a good kid as well. I have noticed a big progression in him from the pre-season tour of America - I have seen a real difference in the last couple of months and he has got a good appetite for the game. He is on the same page in terms of the tactical idea for the team. If his fight matches his talent we will have a very good player."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
"He can be a really top player for Liverpool and for any team in the world. I tell him he has to work very hard in the Premier League and work back like all the other players. That is very important, but I tell him if he works hard he has all the qualities."
Liverpool teammate and fellow Spaniard José Enrique
"I know how well he can play, how he can change games and how confident he is on the ball. He can play against Manchester United or any team in the league and there won't be any nerves. He'll get on the ball and play football. He got a chance and he's taken it."
Liverpool teammate and fellow Spaniard Daniel Pacheco
What's he got to say for himself?
"People called my father Suso too. It's a nickname. I remember when I was maybe five or six years-old one of my friends on the football team started to call me 'Suso'. I didn't know why. But when other people heard him say it they all started to use it. It has stuck ever since."
"I felt that if I kept improving throughout my career I would have the opportunity to play for a big Spanish team but the Liverpool offer might have never come around again. Going to play football in another country and learning English was something I wanted to do and I am glad I did; I love England."
"Brendan Rodgers is a coach that if you prove to him that you can perform, if you work hard, has no problem in putting young players in the team. I have started three times and things are going well. It's a gift for me. I'm very happy here, very comfortable."
For more on Suso, I covered him in more detail in the August/September issue of magazine Well Red, you can buy a subscription to the magazine here or download them on your iPhones or iPads here, the latest editions are also available in WHSmiths across the UK.