Liverpool: Alberto Eyes Champions League
Summer signing Luis Alberto believes his new club have the quality needed to sustain their 'fantastic' start to the season...
Spanish acquisition Luis Alberto may not have had many opportunities to showcase his own ability so far but he's been more than impressed by what his Anfield colleagues have to offer.
The creative midfielder has identified attacking trio Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, in particular, as being central to hopes for a successful season.
Although contradicting himself slightly by initially suggesting no goals should be set, Alberto reckons a top four finish is a distinct possibility given the club's start to the campaign and the quality possessed within the squad.
"It gives us great confidence to have had a good start, it is fantastic," said the 21-year-old to Liverpoolfc.com. "It is an ideal moment that we have to take advantage of.
"We need to continue winning games and get to the end of the season in the highest possible place.
"The team is focused on having a good season; we have very good players and we must take advantage of this and reach our target.
"We need to go match per match and not to establish a goal. But we have very good players such as Luis, Daniel and Philippe, that can make the difference.
"The team should focus on getting into the Champions League."
Liverpool currently sit second in the Premier League standings after 11 of the 38 games but Alberto has largely been a peripheral figure, making just six first-team appearances.
For the time being at least, the Spanish U21 international appears keen to heed the advice of others, including Coutinho, and remain patient in his quest to break through.
"I admire Philippe and we get on well on and off the pitch," continued Alberto.
"He can be one of the people who are an example for me. I look at many people as an example.
"Not only Philippe, but various others have said I need to be patient and work well and it will happen.
"When it arrives, then I have to show that I am good enough for Liverpool."
Asked how he had settled into life in England, the £6.8million signing from Sevilla added: "Very well thanks to many of my colleagues, I am very comfortable...
"I hope that, sooner rather than later, I will be able to speak the language. It is quite difficult but, little by little, I am learning a bit more."
Although it is still early days, Alberto has shown glimpses of real talent and the majority of fans are optimistic about his future prospects. The cameo appearance at Newcastle United last month and a hat-trick for the U21s against Sunderland point to further opportunities down the line. The former Barcelona B player certainly has the technical ability to succeed but his lack of pace and physical strength are a slight concern. Personally I'm surprised he didn't feature more when Coutinho was out injured as he is the closest we have in terms of a natural midfield playmaker. Brendan Rodgers instead opted to play winger Victor Moses in a more central role.
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