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'Never write off Suarez!' - Messi return will help Barcelona forward fire again, says Poyet

10:00 BST 24/10/2019
Luis Suarez Lionel Messi Barcelona
The Uruguayan has backed his compatriot to have a successful season and is adamant that the Argentine's injury affected the 32-year-old's form

Gus Poyet believes Barcelona fans are once again seeing the best of Luis Suarez following the return of Lionel Messi, insisting that it would be foolish to write off his compatriot.

Suarez had only scored two goals in his first five games of the 2019-20 season as Barca struggled to hit top form amid the absence of their influential forward and captain Messi.

Since the Argentine's return, however, Suarez has netted four goals in October, with the Catalans having climbed to the top of the Liga table, while they're also leading their Champions League group.

And Poyet insists that the criticisms of the former Liverpool striker were premature, while also expressing his hope that the 32-year-old will end his career at Camp Nou.

"You can never write off Suarez," Poyet told Goal. "The key for me was how in the summer he said: 'maybe Barcelona needs another striker'. He knew you can’t only count on Suarez. He is very calm and a family man. He knows himself better than anyone.

"It was a matter of waiting and having Messi back. People forget that in the bad spell, Messi wasn’t playing. Messi... not me but Messi! So that special connection was gone. He makes space for him. If you watch the overhead-kick [Suarez goal against Sevilla], it is extraordinary.

"If you see the other centre-half, he is looking at Messi on the edge of the box and gives space and freedom for Suarez. People ask me: 'do you want to manage your national team?' I say: 'of course', even though we have a manager doing very well, El Maestro [Oscar Tabarez].

"It would be a shame for me to manage them after Luis Suarez retires. That’s football. I would never worry about Suarez’s form. He is a team player, a fighter. He will always give you the maximum from the first minute to the last.

"I hope he retires at Barca. I think he would like that. He could leave for another country as well but he is a family man. Family comes first."

If Poyet was to be considered Tabarez's replacement with Uruguay, he might have to oversee a transitional period as not only Suarez but Edinson Cavani enter their senior years.

Cavani is set for a pivotal campaign as his Paris Saint-Germain contract enters its final year and Poyet believes there will be a lot of top clubs in for the striker, if he doesn't extend his stay in the French capital.

"I admire Cavani a lot. He's one of the best strikers we have ever had in Uruguay," he added. "He has taken different roles because of who he has played with. On the wings, he did it and did it very well. He never complained.

"I always thought he needs to be a number nine. He could be extraordinary. He found that in Paris and he was so important for them. I thought that he is more popular at PSG than Neymar. I thought it even more after my time in Bordeaux.

"They like him more, that says something. Now he is at the end of his contract. It will be interesting to see his decision in the future. He will have a lot of offers from top teams. It is a life decision; let’s see what he decides."