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Liverpool just can't afford to let Suarez go

 

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Liverpool's owners and boss Brendan Rodgers were less than happy with Arsenal's £40 million plus £1 bid for their talisman striker earlier this week. And if they needed any reminding of the value their star striker has to them, then they received it down under.

Liverpool played in front of just over 95,000 in Melbourne which was the biggest crowd the Reds have played in front of since a 100,000 was given as the attendance for the 1986 FA Cup Final against Everton.

Rodgers admitted to being humbled by the welcome he, his staff and players have received since being in Australia

‘It was a huge honour to play at such an iconic stadium in sport,’ said Rodgers. ‘To play in front of 95,000 supporters was remarkable.  I want to put on record a huge thank you to the people of Melbourne and Australia as I know many flew in from all over the place to be here.

‘They can be very proud of what they put on tonight. It was phenomenal. You'll Never Walk Alone at the beginning was a tear-jerker. Not many clubs in the world can do what we have done on this tour so far.

‘To play in front of 80,000 in Jakarta and then 95,000 here... It shows the status of Liverpool as a club. There were lot of moments of quality on a difficult playing surface.  I thought out fitness was excellent and tactically we were good. We pressed the ball when we could and scored a quality goal.

‘It was on the back of some good play from Melbourne and we broke away with a great pass from Joe Allen and a fine finish from Stevie G. We kept possession well and waited for our moments. Defensively, we looked very strong.’

Suarez set up Liverpool’s second goal with a turn and cross for Iago Aspas after he showed alertness to race on to a short corner from Stewart Downing. Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring with an impressive finish of his own.

‘I've had a few conversations with Luis but there is nothing new to report,’ said Rodgers. ‘He's surrounded by speculation but he's here and working with the group. He was a bit tired as he only flew in on Sunday and then trained a double session on Monday after being off for three weeks.

‘He played 20-odd minutes and it was good to see him out there. He's very much a Liverpool player and in the coming weeks we need to get him up to speed to ensure he's fit and raring to go for the beginning of the season.’

Rodgers added: ‘I have nothing to report on (Arsenal’s bid). The only talks there have been are between Luis and myself. There is no doubt that the market nowadays for top players is very small. Luis will always be linked with top clubs.

‘The support he has received from the supporters and people of Liverpool has been unrivalled despite the fact he has missed a lot of games for various reasons. They have stood by him like a son and looked after him.

'Whatever happens in the coming weeks I am sure that will be something in his mind; it's not something you can ever forget.’

What it does confirm though, is Liverpool still have a global following and if they are to maintain that they need their stars - including Suarez.

JB


 

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