Liverpool's season might not have unfolded the way that they wanted this year, with a top-four finish now seemingly unattainable for the Merseyside club.
However, the future is bright for the Reds in the years to come given the progress made under Brendan Rodgers, and despite the lack of Champions League football, they will still enter the 2013 summer transfer window full of confidence and expectant to land their desired transfer targets.
Rodgers has done a stellar job at the club this season, and whilst the results haven't necessarily flowed as he would have liked, his progression to build the club and develop an attacking identity will be pertinent to Liverpool's success in the coming seasons.
That identity has been formed around one man—Luis Suarez—and both Suarez and the Reds have reaped the rewards of that this year.
Suarez has netted 25 goals and made four assists in all competitions this year, and he was a huge reason behind their strong Europa League run as well as their recent run toward the top four this year. Even though their run in the competition was cut short, the Uruguayan international's ability to make those around him play to their best has been key for Liverpool all season.
Liverpool are completely right to make Suarez the focal point of their attack this year and in years to come, and we'll likely see that focus unfold again in the upcoming transfer window.
Much like we saw with the additions of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and Philippe Coutinho from Inter Milan over the winter transfer window, Liverpool's transfer growth over the 2013 summer transfer will be all based around getting the best production possible from Suarez.
Rodgers said earlier last week (via ESPN):
We are a team that is set up to exploit Luis Suarez's qualities. Every player it is about the style, and how they fit into that. If you look at Suarez, he has flourished this season in the roaming role we have given him.
Likewise for other players you may have to set up in a certain way to get the best out of them. We are the second-highest goal-scorers in the league, so we have been able to score goals all season and we are happy with playing around a talent like Luis.
The Reds have shown since the winter transfer window that they were right to hone the focus of their attack on Suarez and getting the best out of him.
If they can add to it over the upcoming summer transfer window, then they'll likely start the 2013 season with the same vigor and determination as they are finishing this year—perhaps able to challenge the best teams in the league for a top-four spot once more.
Unless Liverpool focus on Suarez, it isn't going to happen.
Their summer window must be geared on bringing in new players to grow their midfield and strengthen their defense, so that Suarez and the attack can better thrive. Playing any other system—as we've seen throughout the year—just doesn't work as well for the Merseyside club.
Enrique: "At Barcelona, the first player they look for during a bad situation is Messi. In Liverpool, it's Suarez. He's the best here."— Total LFC (@TheTotalLFC) March 13, 2013
That's not to say that Suarez is "everything" to Liverpool and that they would be lost without him. For one day the striker will leave the club for greener pastures, and Rodgers (or whoever the manager is) will be forced to find a new system that works with the players he has.
But for now it's all about Suarez and rightly so.
The 26-year-old has been simply superb this year and has the skills and talent to make Liverpool a genuine top-four threat next season, if they can grow that little bit more over the transfer window.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: Follow @dantalintyre