Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard isn’t so happy about his former teammate Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona. While speaking to The Daily Mail journalist and former Reds defender Jamie Carragher, Gerrard said he felt the Uruguayan sensation ‘engineered’ his move away from Anfield following the infamous bite during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The former England Captain feels Suarez would have stayed another year at Merseyside as they came very close to winning their first Premier League title. They finished as runners-up and qualified for the UEFA Champions League which should have been enough to keep the new Barcelona star at Liverpool.
However, things changed during this summer’s World Cup. Both England and Uruguay wound up in the same group. English media and national side manager Roy Hodgson took stabs at Suarez and it got worse after the Three Lions lost to Uruguay. In that match, Suarez scored two goals and virtually ended England’s run for the World Cup.
Uruguay beat Italy by one goal in a match that became infamous for Suarez biting Azzurri defender Giorgio Chiellini, which resulted in the four month ban for the Uruguayan juggernaut. Gerrard feels that bite changed everything. English media once again started taking shots at Suarez, and the ban was enough of a reason for the striker to start looking elsewhere. Spanish powerhouse Barcelona took advantage of the negative publicity and offered to ‘help’ Suarez in a reported transfer bid of £75 million. Liverpool accepted and Suarez went off to Spain.
In place, Liverpool replenished the side with the likes of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Alberto Moreno and Suarez’s replacement Mario Balotelli. Of the former AC Milan striker Gerrard says, “It’s an interesting one because he’s got a point to prove. Similar to Sturridge, people are waiting to see whether he’ll take to Liverpool, whether Liverpool is going to be the right place for him. He’s certainly got the talent and ability. I’ve trained with him two or three times and he’s got a great touch, he’s quick, he’s got the movement – he’s got everything in the bag. We’ll have to wait and see if he behaves himself and performs – that’s what everyone is waiting for and I’m no different”.
Gerrard is no stranger to top forwards leaving Liverpool. Before Suarez’s arrival at Anfield, former Kop hero and best friend Fernando Torres left for greener pastures to Chelsea. Hopefully, Balotelli behaves at Liverpool and proves that he can fill the illustrious shoes of Suarez and Torres. Despite not scoring any goals, we saw glimpses of brilliance in his Reds debut in a convincing 3-0 win against Tottenham Hotspurs where he played for a full hour before being substituted.
But will he prove better than Suarez? We’ll just have to wait and see…