Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has confessed that he convinced former team-mate Luis Suarez to not join Arsenal last season, stating that the striker was ‘too good’ for a club like Arsenal.
Luis Suarez was embroiled in a tumultuous summer last year as he wanted to leave Liverpool for Arsenal but was eventually declined such a move by manager Brendan Rodgers. Captain Steven Gerrard has now come out in the open and has spoken about the striker’s move to Barcelona and admitted that he did not hold that against the Uruguayan.
“His dream all along from the first day he came was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.”
Gerrard admitted that it was him who spoke to Suarez last summer and convinced him that he was ‘too good’ for Arsenal.
“Last summer when he was out in the cold and training on his own that’s the conversation I had with him. I said, ‘Don’t go to Arsenal’. With all due respect to them, I said to him that he was too good for Arsenal.”
The Liverpool captain revealed that it was always Suarez’s dream to play for either Barcelona or Real Madrid and that he convinced him to stay at Liverpool and perform well in order to entice them to sign him next summer.
“I said, ‘If you score 30 goals for us and win the PFA Player of the Year, the press Player of the Year, they (Barca and Madrid) will come back for you’.”
Gerrard himself was wanted by most European power-houses and advised Suarez to concentrate on playing for Liverpool and earning the respect of the fans.
“I have experience of those clubs myself and I know if you play well they will come back and come back. So I knew they’d be back for him as well.”
“I just thought for his own sake, and to get respect off the Liverpool fans, he had to give us at least one year.”
Gerrard has now proven to be correct in his assumption as Barcelona did come for Suarez following his exploits last season. But the Englishman does not hold the transfer against his former team-mate as he believes that most foreign players dream of playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“A lot of people might still think he should have given us one more, but that’s the same with most foreigners.”
“My big dream was to play for Liverpool, and the foreign players’ big dream is to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona – that’s a fact.”
But he admits that it would have hurt him to see Luis Suarez play for Arsenal, claiming that he is happy that the striker is finally living his dream as he has worked hard to get there.
“For me, I would have been really sad and disappointed to see Luis go to Arsenal. I’m disappointed to see him leave now but I am happy for him that’s he has got what he wants and deserves. Since day one he has been phenomenal in training every day and in the games.”
Gerrard believes that one cannot fault Suarez for leaving for Spain as his wife is from Barcelona itself and that the Uruguayan has worked very hard to make his dream come true.
“His wife is from Barcelona and I don’t think you can begrudge a player like that who has worked so hard for his dream. You can’t go against him when he says he is leaving for Barcelona, but I’d have been disappointed if he had left and gone to Arsenal.”
However, the Liverpool captain does admit that the squad has been weakened by Suarez’s departure. But Steven Gerrard is not one to give up easily and one can rest assured that he will be firing on all cylinders to make sure he leads his team’s title charge this season.
“I still believe we can be involved in the title race, but I believe if we had Luis Suarez we’d be favourites.”