There are still more than half a dozen Premier League matches left to play this season, but already the summer transfer rumours are cranking up—perhaps no top player features in them more often than Liverpool's Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan forward has been alternately booed, abused, applauded and vilified by opposition fans in his two-and-a-half years on Merseyside, dividing viewers with his incredible feats on the ball and his unending refusal to quietly accept any decisions going against him from the officials.
At Anfield, though, he is merely loved. Loved, and desperately needed for next season as the Reds aim to reclaim a top-four spot in the Premier League, and a place in the following campaign's Champions League with it.
As one of the top talents in world football, Suarez is going to be a target for sides this summer if even the merest hint of his availability gets out, with the likes of Bayern Munich said to be hoping to sign him (via Metro).
The temptation is naturally going to be there for Suarez to give up on the Liverpool project, to move on, to take the better contract, the ability to challenge for major honours in the game and get stuck straight into Champions League football.
But, perhaps, the forward should stick around for another season at the Reds first.
Suarez signed a new contract with Liverpool in the summer of 2012, securing himself a better (and deserved) wage packet and securing Liverpool a guaranteed big sum if, and when, he eventually does move on.
Which he will do, inevitably, if the Reds continue to not make the Champions League.
But one more season in Liverpool colours will not do Suarez any harm, and could potentially do him an awful lot of good. Much remains to be seen about exactly how much Liverpool progress this summer in terms of on-field talent, with question marks still hanging over the quality and quantity of those rumoured to be coming in.
The Reds, to put it bluntly, simply have to get back into the top four next season. Brendan Rodgers will be under severe pressure if his team does not get close to it, and top players will be even harder to come by. Suarez, himself, will almost certainly be off.
Come the summer of 2014, Luis Suarez will be 27 years old—around the prime age of his career—and he will view it as potentially his biggest summer of all. He will be heading into a World Cup—if Uruguay qualify—and maybe facing the last moment where he can join one of the biggest clubs in the world still challenging for honours while at the height of his powers.
What does Suarez owe Liverpool?
Probably not much. He has had the respect, support and admiration from the fans during some extremely tough times. But he's repaid that by putting in the hugest amount of work rate in each and every game he's played, as well as being the best player in the team and the top goalscorer.
He has also become a major part of Liverpool's team very quickly, has forged exciting new partnerships with two players specifically brought in to aid him in attack—Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho—and, with one more season of quality and effort, could yet lead Liverpool back into Europe's biggest tournament.
With increased funds at the manager's disposal and Champions League football—and the Anfield nights that brings—back on offer again, Liverpool would very much be at the forefront of signing available top talent once more.
But Liverpool, very likely, need Suarez in the team next season to do that.
If they don't achieve it, Suarez will almost surely be off in a year's time, and nobody could begrudge such a top player leaving to further his career. But one more season at Liverpool could yet see an awful lot more change for the better, for both player and club.