Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes the sale of Raul Meireles to Chelsea could have been a 'thank you' for their role in the resurgence of the club.
The Portuguese international midfielder made the switch from Anfield to Stamford Bridge for £12 million on deadline day, and it was a move that didn't surprise Aldridge in the slightest.
“Meireles left just before the deadline and I wasn’t surprised. I always thought one midfielder would move on and he was the most likely," said the former Liverpool forward told the Echo.
"Meireles, like Joe Cole , Dani Pacheco and Alberto Aquilani , can’t really play in the 4-4-2 structure that Kenny likes. He was used out wide but everyone can see he’s no winger.
"Meireles needs a role in a three-man central midfield – that’s the way Chelsea play. He went with his head held high because he did a decent job."
Aldridge also believes the two clubs agreed a fair price for the player, although Liverpool were unable to reinvest any of the £12 million in new players given the late nature of the switch.
However, they have been able to spend the £50 million spent by Chelsea on Fernando Torres in January, and much of the Reds' recent success is put down to this distribution of cash by Aldridge.
"I think £12 million was fair so it was a good deal for everyone. It was a nice gesture on Liverpool’s part to sell him to Chelsea," he continued.
"After all Chelsea have played a massive role in turning Liverpool around. The £50 million they gave us for FT enabled us to buy Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll and the £5.5 million for Yossi Benayoun also helped rebuild our squad.
"Maybe letting them have Meireles is a little thank you for everything they have done!”