Poyet delighted by Suarez impact

Former Uruguay international Gus Poyet has revealed he is pleased but not surprised by the impact his countryman Luis Suarez has made at Liverpool since his January arrival, and believes the 24-year-old will go from strength to strength on Merseyside.

Suarez has become in instant hit with the Kop since his £22.8million January transfer deadline day move from Ajax thanks to his flair and tireless work rate, not to mention the starring role he played in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Manchester United back in March.

Brighton manager Poyet - who became the first Uruguayan ever to play in England when he moved to Chelsea on a free transfer in 1997 - has praised Suarez’s decision to ply his trade in the Premier League over Europe’s other major leagues, and predicts the striker will get even better once he adapts to his new surroundings.

When asked by Yahoo! how he felt about Suarez’s impact at Anfield, the 43-year-old said:

“I’m so happy – I’m the happiest person in England, really, because I am convinced about players from Uruguay, the mentality we have got, and the mentality that we bring to any club.

“One player from Uruguay is very important for any English team and I try to convince so many of my fellow countrymen to come to play in England.

“Sometimes it’s easier for a Uruguayan to go to Spain or Italy where they find it a little bit easier because of the language and the summer weather and things, but I’m pleased that [Suarez] made that decision and I’m sure he will be even better when he gets used to the culture of Liverpool Football Club.”

Suarez first attracted the attention of a number of top European clubs with an impressive showing as Uruguay reached the semi-finals of the World Cup last summer.

Several other young Uruguayans, such as Edinson Cavani of Napoli and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin have also built on good form shown in South Africa with their clubs this season, leading some to herald the dawning of a new golden age in Uruguayan football.

Poyet was wary of such sensationalism, but believes Suarez will be key if his countrymen are to prove their World Cup exploits were no fluke.

“I think we have got some pressure that we didn’t have in the last few Copas America,” he said.

“Now Uruguay have to go in there and prove that what we did in the World Cup was not just a one-off, and I think Luis is going to be a big part of that, so we will wait and see.”

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By Liam Twomey