Rodgers: Suarez will be back

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident Luis Suarez will have a successful season for the Reds - once he accepts will not be granted a transfer away from Anfield.

Last Updated: 10/08/13 at 13:07 Post Comment

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Rodgers reiterated that the 26-year-old will not be sold this summer despite the striker's desire to leave the club for UEFA Champions League football.

The Uruguay international was not named in a 22-man squad to play Celtic in a pre-season friendly in Dublin and is training on his own after accusing the club of reneging on a promise that he would be sold if Liverpool failed to qualify for this season's Champions League.

On Friday morning Liverpool owner John W Henry insisted Suarez will not be sold and said it would be "ludicrous" to let him join domestic rivals Arsenal, who have had an offer of £40million plus £1 rejected.

And Rodgers believes his star player will soon accept his fate and be ready to make a similar impact for the Reds this season as he did last, when he scored 23 goals in the Premier League.

"Luis is training on his own and he understands totally where we're coming from," Rodgers said.

"It's been a difficult period for him but it's my job to protect the group. Once he's back with the spirit he'll rejoin the group.

"We're quite calm. The club is in control of the situation. We've got no inclination to sell and we've been strong on that.

"Luis has fought for his life for Liverpool. There will come a point where he'll recognise the club is not going to sell and then he goes onto the pitch and he'll give 100 per cent.

"He's a world class striker. I've got no question that when he's back he'll have a similar impact [to last season]."

Liverpool's target is the elite level of European football, and captain Steven Gerrard has said recently that Suarez holds the key to how the club will perform in the new campaign.

And Rodgers cannot help but agree.

"Luis, since I've known him, has fought for his life for Liverpool," the Northern Irishman added.

"There will come a point where he'll recognise the club is not going to sell and, from what I know about him, once that time comes and he has his head around it, then the minute he goes onto the training field and the pitch, he gives nothing less than 100 per cent.

"That's why it's difficult in this moment, because that's not the point where he is at. That commitment that I've seen every day and the Liverpool supporters have seen is not quite there yet, but I've got every confidence that once he's fit and available then he'll be giving everything.

"This guy's a world-class striker. His passion and love for football - he's at his happiest when he's on the training field and playing games.

"I have absolutely no question that once he's back and available for games, you'll see a similar impact [to last season]."

Rodgers also confirmed the club was working on strengthening the squad further ahead of a season-opener against Stoke on August 17.

With Suarez absent from the travelling squad, striker Daniel Sturridge was a notable inclusion having recently returned to full training following an ankle injury.

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