Birthdate: 19 November 1993
Birthplace: Cadiz, Spain
Other clubs: Almería (loan 2013-14), AC Milan (2015-), Genoa (loan 2016)
Bought from: Cadiz (youth)
Signed for LFC: 31.08.2010
International caps: U-21 2/0 - 05.02.2013
Liverpool debut: 20.09.2012
Last appearance: 23.09.2014
Debut goal: 23.09.2014
Last goal: 23.09.2014
Contract expiry: 17.01.2015
Win ratio: 61.9% W:13 D:5 L:3
LFC league games/goals: 14 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 21 / 1
Player profileJesús Joaquín Fernández Sáez de la Torre or simply "Suso" showed exceptional promise as a youngster but refused to consider moving away from his hometown club Cadiz until he was in his mid-teens. Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona were both monitoring his progress and it seemed that the club from the capital would be successful until a telephone call from Rafael Benítez persuaded him to consider England as an alternative destination. Although Benítez left his post as manager in June 2010, he made sure that the 16-year-old had agreed to join Liverpool before he departed. The Cadiz manager described his protégé as "a boy with great quality, a good shot, his vision is great and his passing is outstanding" and once the backroom staff at Liverpool could see evidence for themselves of that praise Suso was fast-tracked to the reserve team, bypassing the club’s academy. He was immediately successful at the level that had been chosen for him, scoring regularly for the reserves in addition to making a number of appearances in the NextGen competition.
Shortly before Roy Hodgson’s short and unhappy spell as Liverpool manager came to an end, the young Spaniard signed his first professional contract on his seventeenth birthday. During the next sixteen and a half months Hodgson’s successor, Kenny Dalglish, did not bring Suso into his first-team picture but the man who replaced Dalglish, Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers, decided to take the 18-year-old on the club’s pre-season tour of North America, where he played 45 minutes against both Toronto and AS Roma. Being given a first-team squad-number was confirmation that he was very much part of the new manager’s plans and he ultimately made his full debut as part of the team that won a thrilling Europa League match in Switzerland in September 2012.
With five first-team appearances behind him early in the 2012/13 season, the 18-year-old signed a new, long-term contract with the club in October 2012. Rodgers was delighted with his progress: "At 18, he has demonstrated outstanding technical qualities but also shown very good temperament to play for such a prestigious club." Suso has represented Spain at different youth levels and started all five matches in the 2012 European Under-19 championships in Estonia which Spain won by defeating Greece 1-0 in the final in Tallinn. He made his u-21 international debut against Italy on 14 November 2012.
Still only nineteen years old when the 2012/13 season finished, Suso was probably satisfied with playing in twenty of the club's fifty-four competitive matches. But he only started in twelve of those twenty matches and that low total reflects how difficult it is for a young man in his position to hold down a regular place with a big club, especially if he is not playing in the country of his birth. The arrival of Brazilian Phillippe Countinho in January affected the number of first-team opportunities that Suso received in the second half of the season.
The day before Liverpool's senior squad was die to play its first pre-season match in the summer of 2013, Suso joined Union Deportiva Almeria on loan for the whole of the 2013/14 season, the club from Andalusia having just been promoted to Spain's top division after winning the end-of-season play-offs by beating Girona 4-0 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Suso was a regular as the Andalusian club returned to the top Spanish league after an absence of two years. With one round of fixtures remaining Suso had started 26 league matches and had come on as a substitute in seven more. he scored 3 times in those 33 matches. Almeria were not mathematically safe from relegation with one match remaining but knew that avoiding defeat in their final fixture at home to Athletic Bilbao would ensure their safety. Almeria drew that final match 0-0 with Bilbao and the point they gained was enough to ensure that they survived in Spain's top division for another season. AC Milan became the new destination for the young Spaniard when he was signed on a permanent transfer on 17 January 2015. However he failed to break into the Milan side on a regular basis and appeared just eight times in all competitions over the next year. After just one Serie A appearance in the first half of 2015/16 he was loaned to Genoa for the second half of the season, where he scored six goals in nineteen games.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|1||20.09.2012||Young Boys||Stade de Suisse||Europe|
I had good offers from them (Barcelona and Real Madrid). I was going to sign for Real Madrid but one day before it the phone rang and Rafael Benitez spoke to me. He convinced me that Liverpool was the club for me and after that I had to change my plans. I was going to come to Liverpool. I have always liked the Premier League more than La Liga and I decided that it would be better for me to come here - even with the English weather!"
Suso after signing his first professional contract with Liverpool on 22 November 2010
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|AC Milan||2014-2015||Italy 1||5||0||6||0|
|AC Milan||2015-2016||Italy 1||1||0||2||0|
|Genoa||2015-2016||Italy Serie A||19||6||19||6|