Luis Suarez has revealed Steven Gerrard stopped him from joining Arsenal, a decision the Uruguayan now believes would have been “a big error.”
Suarez, who was the subject of a notorious £40 million and one pound bid from the Gunners in 2013, remained at Anfield for an extra season before securing a switch to Barcelona in the summer. As reported by Sport (h/t Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC), Suarez can’t thank Gerrard enough for his advice:
It would have been a big error that I would have made had it not been for Steven Gerrard. We spoke about this when I went to Melwood (Liverpool’s training ground) to pick up my things at the end of the summer and he said: ‘You did the right thing, you waited until the best moment.’
Suarez continued: “He had told me (the previous summer) to play well for Liverpool, give it another year and it will be Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona coming for you and then you can go where you want, because you have the quality to play at any of those three clubs.”
Gerrard was certainly proven correct. A mere 31 Premier League goals later, Suarez secured a move to the Camp Nou. Although Liverpool’s 2013-14 campaign will ultimately be remembered for failing to secure their first title since 1989—missing out by just two points after leading in the final weeks—Suarez was largely unplayable for most of the campaign.
“We have lost goals,” noted Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, upon Suarez’s exit.
Recently banned for four months after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, only now is Suarez’s Blaugrana career gathering momentum. He has provided three assists in as many La Liga performances and orchestrated the Catalan club’s late comeback during the recent 2-1 win over Almeria
Arsenal fans will undoubtedly be ruing Suarez’s decision to move elsewhere. Despite his ability to cause controversy, there isn’t a sharper, more incisive striker in world football. He nets a variety of goals—headers, tap ins, unstoppable strikes from range—and is the type of player who will continue to define matches with moments of genius.
The Gunners could certainly use such an individual, despite Alexis Sanchez’s best efforts to thrust the team to victory. Arsenal’s disappointing draw with Anderlecht, which saw the side throw away a 3-0 lead, and loss to Swansea suggests there’s plenty of work to do at the Emirates. Wenger could use attacking reinforcements, but at this stage, should focus on saving every last pound for midfield and defensive additions.