By Peter Fairchild
The Liverpool manager believes his striker should win the coveted end-of-season PFA award, not only thanks to his goals but also the consistently high level of his performances
The Uruguayan has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season for the Reds, and leads the Premier League scoring charts on 22 goals.
And Rodgers has hailed Suarez’s positive approach to the game, highlighting his striker’s contribution to the Liverpool cause as key to his team’s late push for European football.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with lots of really good players so it would be disrespectful to single out the best,” Rodgers told reporters. “What I am sure of though, is his warrior spirit and I love his humility, work rate, attitude to training and his desire to be a winner.
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“He has a real determination and commitment to do well for Liverpool and that side of his game certainly puts him up there with the very best I’ve worked with. He is definitely one of the most naturally talented and mentally strong players I have ever worked with.
“When you know him as a person and as a man like we do here, you can see why so many people love him. He is a player who has great humility, I see the guy every day and I’ve worked with hundreds of junior and senior players and he is one of the most likable, most humble people I’ve come across.
“He is also a multi-talented footballer who has shown that he is at a world-class level now.”
Robin van Persie and Gareth Bale – who are on 19 and 17 goals respectively for the season – are considered Suarez’s main rivals for the end-of-season award, but Rodgers feels the 26-year-old’s regular top-class displays single him out above other contenders.
Rodgers continued: “He will certainly be in the reckoning [for Player of the Year]. His league goals alone should put him in with a great shout but you also need to look at his consistency throughout the season that makes him arguably the best player.
“There are other contenders of course; players like Gareth Bale have been outstanding for Tottenham for example, but I think that Luis’ consistency and the impact he has had for us this season means that he would be my candidate to win.
“I know what it was like when I faced him as an opposing manager, I always viewed him as a pest around the penalty area and you know that players like that usually have the quality to score at any given time.”