Liverpool captain Steven Gerarrd says he feared Luis Suarez would leave the club this summer.
Suarez was linked with a move to Real Madrid early in the transfer window, late on Arsenal lodged two bids, the last worth 40m plus a pound for the 26-year-old, after it was suggested that it would trigger a release clause.
Gerarrd was asked if he thought he had played his last game with the Uruguay internationals and he said: “Every day in the summer.
“When you have a player as good as Luis Suarez, you know that the big clubs are going to want him,” Gerarrd said.
“I was waking up every morning, hoping that nothing would happen and that he would still be here. Nobody tried harder than me to make him stay and he knows exactly what I think of him. I knew if we could keep him here, the better our chances would be.”
Had Liverpool not insisted the striker was not for sale, he would have been long gone, having made his desire to move away from the club known.
He returned to action for the Anfield outfit, following a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, when he started in the League Cup tie against Manchester United last Wednesday and followed that up with his first league appearance since May in a 3-1 triumph over Sunderland.
“He is a special type of footballer and he gives us something different.”
Suarez grabbed a brace for Brendan Rodgers’ men at Sunderland on Sunday and Gerarrd also praised the striker for remaining committed to the club despite the turmoil over the summer.
“I think it is credit to Luis for the way he has come back. A lot of players who have been in his position might have come back and spat the dummy out, not trying for the team. But he is not that type of guy,” he explained.
“He realised that the club wanted to keep him and he has respected their decision. He is here now and he wants to stay. He wants to achieve something this season and he looks as hungry as he has ever done.”