Sebastian Coates has told IBTimes UK that he would like to return to Liverpool next season after helping Sunderland secure Premier League survival with an impressive defensive performance in the goalless draw against Arsenal on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old Uruguay international moved to Liverpool from Nacional in the summer of 2011 after an impressive Copa America campaign in which he was named the best young player of the tournament.
When the centre-half moved to the Premier League initially, he struggled to find form and it was only a matter of time before a serious knee injury ruled him out for selection making his progression process idle.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sent him on loan to Sunderland in order to secure more game time and Premier League experience.
Life under Gus Poyet at Sunderland provided nothing but negativity for Coates with the club going on a dreadful run. It was only a matter of time before the Stadium of Light saw a new manager and under the stewardship of Dick Advocaat, everything changed for the better.
Coates was a pivotal player under Advocaat and can now set his sights on a return to Anfield after proving himself in England's top flight. He has started the last five league games with clean sheets against Everton, Leicester City and Arsenal.
Coates is delighted with his efforts in keeping Sunderland up in the Premier League and away from the Championship.
"I can't be happier," Coates told IBTimes UK. "It's a great day. It was a very difficult game. We knew that with a point we will continue in the Premier League and that's what we did. We are thrilled."
When asked to give a summary of the season and what he expects to happen in the summer, Coates said: "I have one year left on my contract with Liverpool and obviously I would to play there.
"But we have to wait. It's not just my decision. When I came to Sunderland, the target was to play more than I have done this season but sometimes these things happen in football. We'll have to wait and see whether I can go back to Liverpool or if I have to find another team.
"I arrived with an injury and the adaptation took me longer than I thought. Then there were decisions of the managers and you have to respect that. But I always say the same. The important thing is to be ready when the coach gives you a chance."
Coates has been in contact with Liverpool regularly and the club were monitoring his injury.
"I have been in contact with Liverpool permanently. When I was injured, they called me a lot to see how the things were going and that's something I appreciate."