Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Friday February 1 2013
During a quiet transfer deadline day Liverpool fans were lifted by a declaration of loyalty from star striker Luis Suarez...
As the clock ticked down to yesterday's 11pm transfer deadline all was quiet at Melwood except for the departure of a couple of rarely-seen squad players.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had already revealed there would be no further arrivals but many supporters continued to dream of a last minute signing long into the night.
In many ways they got better than that when, amid plenty of speculation to the contrary, Uruguayan top-scorer Luis Suarez reaffirmed his commitment to the Liverpool cause.
During an exclusive interview with newspaper The Daily Mail, the 26-year-old was asked what he will do at the end of the season should the Reds once again fail to qualify for the prestigious Champions League.
"I will wait until the end of the season and see how we are doing," replied an initially guarded Suarez.
"We won't know until then how we are doing and what our position is so I am prepared to wait until that time.
"But I want to say now that, if you want to know what will happen to me if we don't qualify for the Champions League, then I will say this: I have a contract with Liverpool and I am very happy here. 'I will stay'."
As answers go the response couldn't have been any more categoric.
No doubt the rumours of big money moves to the likes of Bayern Munich will continue but from a Reds perspective the comments will be a huge boost to everyone at the club.
Suarez has notched an impressive 22 goals this season, well over three times as many as any of his teammates, taking his overall Liverpool total to 43 in just 84 games.
The goal stats only tell a fraction of the story however. El Pistolero's technique, skill and never-say-die attitude have made him a firm fans favourite at Anfield.
At times, especially during the current campaign, Suarez has single-handily earned the club results in a manner perhaps only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo can match.
His quality and importance to the side are evidenced by the recent admission from Reds skipper Steven Gerrard that Suarez is the best striker he has played alongside in his entire career.
A glowing reference when you consider Gerrard has shared a dressing room with Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Alan Shearer, amongst many other illustrious names.
Reflecting on the praise, Suarez told reporter Ian Ladyman: "I get goose pimples when I hear he said that...
"Gerrard is such a good player and what he said about me I will never forget. It's unbelievable. He has such a good record over many years in the English game and is a great example to all the players here, especially to me.
"We all respect him. He has won almost everything and if anything goes wrong on the pitch he never tells the players off. He just speaks to them afterwards and when he speaks to them you can take it as a fact that he is right. He is just trying to help people.
"Steven has also said things to me in private that I will never forget, about things that have happened and things that I can do here. These are conversations that players have. People don't hear them but they are so important. They make a difference to a person like me, to my career and my life."
Both Suarez and Gerrard will need to be at the top of their games this weekend if Liverpool are to come away with anything from a trip to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Wednesday night's 2-2 result against Arsenal showed plenty of promise but they will need more than draws if the six point gap to the top four is to be breached.
The news that Suarez will stay regardless of Champions League qualification is absolutely brilliant but for the good of the club we still need to be back dining at Europe's top table as soon as possible.
Click here to read the full interview
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Date:Friday February 1 2013
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