Former Barcelona and Liverpool star Luis Suarez has, on Friday, opened up on his first impression of compatriot and international teammate Federico Valverde.
Recent weeks, of course, have seen the name of versatile midfielder Valverde take its place centre stage in the headlines.
Continuing to be utilised in something of an unorthodox role on the right wing by boss Carlo Ancelotti, the Uruguayan international has added a new-found element of cutting edge to his game in the final third.
Such endeavours have given rise to direct goal contributions in no fewer than six of his last seven appearances across all competitions, including what proved to be the winner in the latest edition of the Madrid Derby.
Valverde, in turn, was named as the La Liga Player of the Month earlier this week:
And now, as alluded to above, the 23-year-old has been on the receiving end of yet more fresh praise.
The individual responsible? Luis Suarez.
Hitman Suarez, of course, is well accustomed to Valverde’s abilities, having long taken to the pitch alongside the Real Madrid man on the international stage.
And, speaking on Friday, the veteran attacker provided an insight into both his first, and lasting impressions.
During an interview with Marca, Suarez revealed that, as far back as 2017, he saw a likeness between Valverde and ex-Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard:
‘Already in 2017, when Fede debuted in the National Team, I said that he reminded me of Steven Gerrard, who was my teammate at Liverpool. He has similar conditions. A box to box player, with punch, change of pace, a lot of arrival... I don’t want to compare, but the characteristics are similar. ‘
‘I saw Fede coming and he has made tremendous progress, surrounded by big stars,’ Suarez concluded. ‘He has done very well.’