If seven days is a long time in football, then seven months must feel like an eternity. No-one is perhaps more aware of this right now than Jesus Fernandez Saez – or, as he's more commonly known, Suso.

And known he now is. A new contract, regular first-team action, enough trust from Brendan Rodgers to start last weekend's Merseyside derby, a career well and truly in the ascendancy...

Yep, it's fair to say life is pretty sweet for Liverpool's gifted 18-year-old right about now.

So much so, in fact, it's perhaps easy to forget that just a mere seven months ago, Suso was lining up for the Reds reserves in a mini-derby with Everton at the club's Kirkby Academy.

True, the Spaniard impressed in front of the LFC TV cameras as the teams shared a 1-1 draw that afternoon, but few would have predicted just a few short months later he'd be keeping more established colleagues out of the senior side.

Hard work, says Suso, is to thank.

"Last season I was in the reserves and didn't get any minutes with the first team," he reflected as he sat down with Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood this week.

"There was a big change in pre-season [with the manager] and I went on the tour of North America. I maybe wasn't ready for this, but I tried to keep working and trying to improve what I had to improve.

"The boss saw that I was improving and trying to get better. Now he is giving me the chance."

Watch the video here »

Faith. Rodgers has it in abundance when it comes to his No.30.

If seven first-team appearances aren't sufficient proof of that, the new long-term contract handed to Suso in October surely is.

"I was really happy to sign here. I wanted to stay here - and I want to stay here for a lot of years," said Suso with the slight, yet distinguishable, twang of a Scouse accent creeping through.

"I am playing in the first team now and starting games in the Premier League, so I could not be happier.

"I am really glad I am playing in every game and the boss is trusting me. I am getting a lot of minutes, but I have to keep working. I have to work really hard every day in every training session, and then in the games show everyone I deserved to be there.

"As I said, I really could not be happier right now. Playing every game with Liverpool at a stadium like Anfield, or the other stadiums in the Premier League, is one of the best feelings. It's sensational. I am really happy, but I need to keep working."

And keep working he has.

Training at Melwood alongside genuine world-class footballers - players whose achievements and talents he's itching to emulate - cannot be underestimated when it comes to dissecting Suso's rise to Premier League prominence.

"For me, it's a dream come true training with Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez," he states. All of them are really good."

A dream come true, maybe, but now is not the time to be star struck, admits Suso.

"What you need to do is improve every day and learn from them," the Cadiz-born teenager continues. "Obviously they have a lot of experience and are two of the best players in the Premier League, so you need to learn from them.

"If you have any questions or want to know anything, you can ask them and they'll let you know."

Suso's inclusion in Rodgers' first team has helped establish Liverpool as the team with the youngest average age in the Barclays Premier League.

Throw fellow Academy graduates Raheem Sterling (17) and Andre Wisdom (19) into the equation and it's not hard to see why fans and pundits alike are predicting a bright future for the club.

"I am really happy for them as well," said Suso. "They are young and around the same age [as me].

"I'm happy to see more young players on the pitch every game. We have to say thank you to the boss because it is he who has given us the chance, so we are really happy."

Naturally, the life-changing progression of his career has meant things off the field have taken on a different perspective, too. 

Each day, Suso's official Twitter account is inundated with fans submitting personal snapshots posing with the Liverpool winger as he goes about his day-to-day life outside of Melwood.

Becoming a more recognisable face comes with the territory of being a first-team regular.

Not that Suso minds.

"Obviously whenever I'm out walking in town or somewhere, you're playing for the first team for Liverpool - one of the biggest clubs in England and in the world - so, yes, I get recognised more. But I don't care about that.

"I'm still doing the things I was doing before, so I'm still the same."

Suso concludes: "The fans are massive. They are one of the best in England and in the world. Their support has been magnificent.

"I'm really, really happy here."