Liverpool midfielder pleased Suarez didn't join Arsenal

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Lucas Leiva has expressed his satisfaction that Liverpool rejected Arsenal's overtures for Luis Suarez in the summer, and believes the striker can help fire the Merseyside club back to the Champions League, reports the Daily Star.

The Uruguay international was the subject of intense speculation during the transfer window, after citing a desire to leave Anfield at the end of last season.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was credited with an interest in bringing the 26-year-old to the Emirates Stadium, but saw a £40,000,001 bid swiftly rejected by Liverpool, who refused to sanction the sale of their star striker.

Suarez later retracted his unofficial transfer request and reiterated his commitment to Brendan Rodgers's side, vowing to get his head down and work hard for the team that first afforded him an opportunity to play in the Premier League.

Since returning from his 10-game ban, Suarez has hit the ground running in 2013/14 and netted a hat-trick in Saturday's 4-2 victory against West Brom.

The treble represented the fourth hat-trick of his Liverpool career - but first at Anfield - and Lucas praised his South American teammate following another inspired performance.

"It shows why the club fought so hard to keep him in the summer," said the Brazilian. "What he did last year for us and what he is doing already just shows that is why the club wanted to keep him.

"Liverpool want to keep their best players and he was the best player last year - and probably the Premier League's best player. We are happy he stayed with us and he is just showing every week how committed he is."

Lucas added: "It doesn't matter what was going on in the summer his mind now is just to help the team, to achieve great things and hopefully it will finish in a positive way in May.

"We see him every training session and we know he loves what he does and when he gets on the pitch he just tries to help, that is why we are so happy for him because he deserves what he is getting.

"No one gets goals and great performances if you don't work hard and of course he is a special talent so it makes it easier for him."

Regarding Suarez's ambition to test himself in the Champions League - a competition he would have featured in this season, had he joined Arsenal in the summer - the midfielder explained that everyone at Liverpool is driven by the same motivation.

"I think every single player wants to play in the Champions League. No one wants to stay at home on Tuesday and Wednesday watching the TV and not playing in the big games.

"He is probably one of the top five best players in the world so he wants to be there and that is why he is so committed with this team because he wants to put Liverpool back in the Champions League - that is what we all want."

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Premier League
Leiva Lucas
Luis Suarez

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