Luis Suarez has spoken of his admiration for Steven Gerrard, claiming the midfielder played a key role in his decision to stay at Liverpool.
The Uruguayan international spent much of the summer trying to engineer a move away from Anfield, and was disappointed when the club would not give him permission to discuss a potential switch to Arsenal. The Gunners had bid £40million and one pound for the striker, thus activating a clause which should have allowed negotiations.
Suarez eventually accepted he would not be leaving Merseyside, and after completing a suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of last season, he has been in the form of his life as the Reds face a first league title since 1990. Brendan Rodgers’ side are just four points adrift of leaders Chelsea, and the 27-year-old has been the catalyst for this form with a staggering 24 goals in the Premier League so far.
The controversial forward has also pledged his future to Liverpool by signing a new deal which is designed to keep him at the club until 2018, which is further proof that he has finally settled. And he has now revealed much of his decision not to push for a transfer was down to Gerrard, who gave him some words of advice during the summer.
“He didn’t talk about me in the press, but in person,” Suarez told FourFourTwo Magazine. “In those moments I forgot that he was world football great Gerrard, a Liverpool legend, but as a humble person who spoke to me with all his heart for hours. He said I was the best forward he’d ever played with, which given the amazing strikers that he’s played with at Liverpool, was amazing for me to hear. I’ll never forget that.”
Although Chelsea and Manchester City remain the favourites for the title, both have yet to visit Anfield this term. The Reds also have Tottenham Hotspur, who are competing for a top-four finish, at home, whilst they will hope to inflict another blow on Manchester United, who are struggling to keep pace this season, when they travel to Old Trafford.
Gerrard, meanwhile, has reciprocated the praise Suarez has heaped on him. Speaking after the 3-0 win at Southampton on Saturday evening, which lifted Rodgers’ side to second in the table, the England international revealed his opinion that the former Ajax forward can be spoke about in the same breath as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’ve run out of words to describe him,” Gerrard said of Suarez. “We’re blessed in this country to have some really top forwards, top, top attacking players. But for me, without being biased, he’s the best. I’ve said it many times, I look at Messi and Ronaldo and, yes, they’re world-class players. But outside of that, you’ve got (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez who are pushing those two really close. We’re lucky to have him.”