A manager doesn't always entirely know what he has in a player until the moment on the biggest stage arrives and that much is certainly true of Jesus Fernandez Saez, known at his club Liverpool as Suso.
The 19-year-old Spaniard, signed by Rafael Benitez from Cadiz in 2010, offered hints on the club's United States pre-season tour, when his intelligence and cultured left foot were in evidence. His performances were arguably the biggest positive of Liverpool's trip, with a shining performance in Toronto. But it was only when Liverpool managed the calamity of allowing Andy Carroll to leave with no replacement, during August, that he sensed an opportunity might be coming.
Fairly diminutive, though with a very powerful left foot finish, he would get his chance before January's reinforcements arrived, said his manager, Brendan Rodgers. The display in the Europa League against Young Boys was something: a neat one-two with Joe Cole allowed Cole to set up Jonjo Shelvey to score. But a teenager possessing the coolness to set up a goal against Manchester United, as Suso did, is a rarity. His temperament for the big occasion also led Rodgers to select him from the start in the Merseyside derby.
There were a few bids for him on deadline day, after he had started every game for Spain in this year's Under-19 European Championship and only after the season began did work get under way to extend his contract. But Rodgers has shown the courage to give Suso a good go. Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group, want the academy to begin delivering. There'll be more of Suso on show next year and expect him to take the chance.