Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed that he persuaed his former team-mate Luis Suarez not to join Arsenal last season as he 'was too good for them.'
After a lot of rumours that the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave Anfield prior to the 2013/14 campaign, Arsenal drew first blood when they then thought they activated Suarez's release clause with a £40million plus £1 bid.
Powers of persuasion
However, it was the Liverpool captain who managed to keep the striker at Anfield for another season.
Speaking in America, Gerrard told members of the press: “Last summer, when Luis was out in the cold, I told him, ‘Don’t go to Arsenal,’. With all due respect to them, I told him he was too good for Arsenal.”
It proved to be a successful move from both Gerrard and Suarez, as the forward netted 31 times in the Premier League, finishing the top goalscorer and helping the Reds to finish in second-place, two points behind winners Manchester City.
Nonetheless, after such a prolific season and knowing the former Ajax man's ambitions, Suarez was destined to leave Merseyside during this transfer window.
La Liga dream
“Luis’s dream, from the first day he came to us, was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona," added the Liverpool captain.
“I said, ‘If you score 30 goals for us and win the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Player of the Year and FWA (Football Writers’ Association) Footballer of the Year (awards), they will come back for you.’
“I thought for his own sake, and to get our fans’ respect, he had to give us at least one more year. You can’t begrudge him his dream, leaving for Barca. But I’d have been disappointed if he had left for Arsenal.”
Suarez moved to Barcelona for £75million, becoming the club's record transfer fee and the third biggest signing in history behind Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It will be a big loss for Liverpool, as replacing 31 goals will be such a huge task. Nonetheless, manager Brendan Rogers has set about life without one half of the former 'SAS' strike partnership by signing attacking-minded players Adam Lallana for £25million, Lazar Markovic for £20million and Rickie Lambert coming in for £4.5million.
Rogers is also expecting more goals from attacking midfielders Phillipe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, and he still has Daniel Sturridge, who netted 21 Premier League goals last campaign.