Football

Alonso and Gerrard.

Steven Gerrard responds to Rafa Benitez's attempt to sell Xabi Alonso for Gareth Barry

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Gareth Barry is set to make Premier League history on Monday as his West Brom side travel to Arsenal.

The midfielder will make his 633rd appearance in England’s top-flight, surpassing the record set by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.

While Barry is set to play more games that the Welshman, he can’t quite say he’s had the same success in his career as Giggs.

Giggs won 13 league titles at Old Trafford, compared to Barry’s one whilst at City.

And some football fans will point to the fact that Giggs made all of his appearances for the most successful club in English football, rather than at Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Brom.

But Barry’s career in English football could have been so different.

After impressing for Villa, there were plenty of big clubs interested in his signature.

One of which was Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool.

Now, Liverpool fans will only be all too aware that Benitez wanted to sign Barry and was willing to sell Xabi Alonso in the process - a move that seems crazy.

Liverpool's Xabi Alonso (L) challenges G

In the end, Benitez wasn’t quite able to sign Barry - with him joining City in 2009 - but the damage had been done with Alonso.

After being told he was able to leave the club if they signed Barry, Alonso obviously didn’t want to hang around Anfield for too long and left for Real Madrid at the end of the 2008/09 campaign.

And whilst appearing on Premier League Tonight on Saturday night, Steven Gerrard was asked about this particular episode ahead of Barry’s record-breaking night.

Liverpool FC Kit Launch

What did Gerrard make of it all?

What Gerrard thought of the Alonso/Barry situation

Well, he thought the same as every other Liverpool fan it seems.

“I remember getting a phone call about it, yeah,” Gerrard said when asked by Jake Humphrey about Benitez wanting Barry.

“He [Benitez] wanted to move Xabi on and bring Gareth in. For me that wasn’t the right move, although I’m a big fan of Gareth Barry.

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“I would have had him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have both worked together.

"I don’t think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi Alonso with Gareth Barry because the fans loved Xabi, he was a world-class player and, for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him, not move him on.”

We think Stevie G has pretty much summed up the thoughts of every Liverpool fans regarding the whole situation.

Benitez’s wish to let Alonso go in order to sign Barry was one of the biggest mistakes he made whilst in charge at Anfield.

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Topics:
Jamie Carragher
Gareth Barry
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Xabi Alonso
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge

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