Premier League

Enrique enjoying Anfield stay

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Wed, 01 May 2013 11:47:00

AC Milan attacker Stephan El Shaarawy says he would love to spend his entire career at the Rossoneri, despite reported interest from other clubs.

The former Genoa starlet is under contract at the San Siro until 2018, but has been linked with a move away from the Serie A giants - with Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City reportedly keen to acquire his services.

Adriano Galliani, Milan's CEO, recently said that El Shaarawy is not available at any price, a claim that delighted the young striker.

"I am feeling very good at Milan and I hope to stay here for the rest of my life," El Shaarawy told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I heard what Galliani said about me and it pleases me that the club do not want to sell me."

Galliani announced on Monday that he has no intention of allowing the likes of El Shaarawy to leave Milan while they have so much more to offer.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "Bids for El Shaarawy? He is a 20-year-old player who is having a great season and it is normal that many clubs like him. But we absolutely don't want to sell him.

"With Stephan and (Mario) Balotelli we have Italy's strike pairing and we want to keep them together."

Henk Veldmate signed the Uruguay international for Groningen from Nacional as a 19-year-old in 2006 and said Suarez's character was heavily influenced by his South American upbringing.

"He's a grown up person but also, in the way he likes playing football, he sometimes has the mentality of a child," said the Dutch club's sporting director.

"That's the way he enjoys playing. If you compare the mentality and attitude to Dutch players, then in South America it's dead or alive.

"To do the best for your family - it's a way of life and a way of surviving."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had suggested something similar in relation to Suarez's background when he spoke last week immediately after the player received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Veldmate, speaking in a Radio 5 Live documentary 'What's Eating Luis Suarez' to be broadcast on Monday night, added it took him just 15 minutes to decide they had to sign the forward.

He had travelled to Uruguay to watch another player but was so taken by Suarez he immediately changed his priority.

"He had everything you see today - he scored a goal and did some fantastic dribbles," Veldmate added.

"Sometimes you think he is lucky with his dribbles - he starts something and you think it is impossible but in the end it works and he creates a chance and scores a goal.

"He dived to win a penalty, so all the things we see in Luis' potential we saw in that 15 minutes and most importantly we saw he was a winner."

Former Groningen team-mate Hugo Alves said that will to win was evident from the moment he arrived at the club.

"He is the type of player that once inside the box he is capable of anything to score a goal, to get the ball from an opponent," he said.

"He does anything to win. He is a winner. And because of his way of thinking, if he is in the heat of the moment, full of emotion, he makes these kind of mistakes.

"In the middle of an emotional game, he can vent it in the wrong way.

"Obviously this kind of thing (biting) shouldn't happen, cannot happen. It's happened to him."

The midfield duo have spent the past two years as part of the Cod Army's youth set-up, while also studying a BTEC qualification, and will join up with Graham Alexander's first-team squad for pre-season training in eight weeks' time.

"Graham Alexander gave us both the news on Tuesday morning," Wright told the club's official website. "Personally, I've enjoyed my time. It's been hard at times but all the hard work has now paid off.

"I'm a Fleetwood lad and it's what everyone wants to see. I'm proud to be part of the senior squad at my hometown club."

Parker added: "I'm still in a bit of shock at the minute. Finding out this good news is like a dream come true.

"I'll probably celebrate, have a break and then start working on the fitness again in a few weeks so I'm ready for pre-season."

The Spanish defender swapped Tyneside for Merseyside in August 2011 after a four-year spell with the Magpies that included relegation from the Premier League followed by immediate promotion as Championship title-winners.

His first season at Anfield ended with his new club three places below Newcastle in the Premier League table, but as 2012/13 draws to a close Enrique's former employers are locked in a battle against relegation.

The possibility of a return to the Championship for Newcastle drew nearer when they were thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool last Saturday, and for Enrique he feels his move of nearly two years ago was the right one.

"Coming to Liverpool was one of the best decisions in my life, in terms of football," the 27-year-old told LFC TV.

"Of course, I already played for a good club at Newcastle, but you can't compare one club with the other in terms of history.

"I'm really happy with my decision to be here; it's my second season and I'm playing a lot, like last year. I'm improving a lot as a player and a person as well."

Manager Brendan Rodgers' influence is also something that Enrique feels is a having a positive effect at the club.

"He likes to be close with the players. He talks with everyone the same," added Enrique. "It surprised me that he knows all the young players, coming from the Under 16s and Under 18s.

"He knows the name of everyone; it's good because the young players are people like us and it's good for them to know that the manager knows them. I really like the manager."

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