World Football

Steven Gerrard Rates Luis Suarez Above Fernando Torres, Says Striker Won't Leave

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 19: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates with Jordan Henderson (L) and Luis Suarez (up) after scoring his 100th goal for the club from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League game between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on October 19, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)
Ian Horrocks/Getty Images
Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2013

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has played with some major talents during his epic Anfield career.

He once governed the midfield alongside Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso, provided goals for former European Footballer of the Year Michael Owen and even trod the same turf as Barcelona and Ajax magician Jari Litmanen.

However, ask him to name the best player he has played with at Liverpool and his backing for Luis Suarez is categorical, per Roger Bennett of ESPN FC:

Yes. Simple. He's out on his own.

The only player who comes close to producing what Luis produced in a red shirt is Fernando Torres... but Luis just pipped him for me.

The fact Liverpool currently boast the best player to have represented the club in the past 15 years, dating back to Gerrard’s debut, suggests the Merseysiders are heading in the right direction under Brendan Rodgers.

Currently third in the Premier League, the Reds have supported Suarez’s mercurial talents with other technically gifted individuals like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. The latter has even been tipped to emulate Kenny Dalglish by former player Peter Beardsley, per Richard Arrowsmith’s Daily Mail report.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool shoots past Asmir Begovic of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on August 17, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskil
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

So Liverpool have their best player of the past decade, combining with a talent seen to be good enough to match their best of all time. Surely success beckons.

However, what would happen if the focal point of the team, Suarez, is ripped out of the side? It so nearly happened in the summer, and Real Madrid are expected to test the player’s resolve again over the next 12 months, per James Dickenson of the Daily Express.

Gerrard, who feared his teammate would leave during the close-season, insists there is no way Suarez will exit in January, per Bennett’s ESPN article:

I don't feel like that about January... January will be different because I think Luis is committed. I think he is happy.

I think he is pleased with the decision he has made to stay around. He is in good form. The team are playing well so I think January won't be a problem.

But come the summer, I think depending how Liverpool have done will determine what goes through Luis' mind.

Gerrard’s indication is clear. If Liverpool don’t finish in the top four, he won’t expect Suarez to stay beyond the summer. 

However, the skipper is adamant his teammate is committed to achieving that goal with the Merseysiders. Only if they fail will Suarez cut ties with the club.

The comparison to Torres is a timely one. Like Suarez, the Spaniard was the darling of the Kop for nearly three seasons, netting 66 goals before injury began to restrict his involvement, per ESPN FC.

Suarez v Torres
AppearancesGoals
Suarez10257
Torres14281
Soccerbase

He then began to become disillusioned with Liverpool and later accused them of lying to him—per Massimo Marioni of Metro. Suarez did likewise during the summer—reported by Dominic King of the Daily Mail.

The difference is Torres allowed his off-field mood to affect his form on the pitch, scoring only nine times in his final 25 Liverpool appearances. Suarez continues to fight for every ball, which has kept the fans on his side.

Liverpool have the chance to prove to the Uruguayan over the next seven months that his future belongs at Anfield. They once fought hard enough to keep Gerrard at the club in similar circumstances; now the skipper will hope he can do the same for Suarez.

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