Steven Gerrard thinks Luis Suarez can have an even bigger impact in the Barclays Premier League than South American counterpart Carlos Tevez, as the 24-year-old Uruguayan international prepares to embark on his first full season on Merseyside.
Fresh from his Copa America triumph this summer where he was also named player of the tournament, Suarez is looking to kick on with a rejuvenated Liverpool in 2011-12, and Gerrard has backed the Reds’ latest strike sensation to usurp Tevez’s return of 24 goals for Manchester City last season.
“Luis is a special player, he really is,” said Gerrard. “He’s so good. His movement, his touch, his awareness and the way he takes his goals is fantastic.
“It’s natural you are going to compare him to Tevez because of his build, his shape and the way he plays. But I think he can go on to be even better.”
Tevez has scored 43 goals in just 63 games for City since joining from neighbours Manchester United in 2009, while Suarez netted on four occasions in 13 appearances since his £22.8million move to Anfield in January.
But his committed performances have already made him a fans’ favourite at Liverpool having shot to cult hero status following the departure of Fernando Torres to Chelsea.
Liverpool started the season with a home tie against Sunderland, with Suarez netting a goal and missing out on another via a penalty kick.
Though Gerrard is set to miss the opening few games as he continues his rehabilitation from an ongoing groin injury, Suarez and company will be looking to continue the momentum generated at the back end of last season in the hope they will be challenging for honours come May.
Gerrard is happy with the new signings and believes the extra competition can only be a good thing.
“I believe we’ve made some very good signings this summer, with Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Doni all coming in. Hopefully there will be one or two more arriving before the transfer window closes.
You always want competition for places because it’s a long season. Obviously it gives the manager more options and it also pushes the players on because they know not everyone can start every game.”