Gus Poyet reckons that his countryman Luis Suarez’s Liverpool exit caused Brendan Rodgers to be sacked.
The former Sunderland and current AEK Athens boss was speaking about the player’s rise from a star in the Eredivisie to a world-recognised one.
Suarez always had the capability to be one of the very best, but there were actually accusations early on during his time with us that he couldn’t finish! The 28-year-old put those to bed in his past two seasons in England by notching 61 goals in total, and has found the net 44 times in 64 Barcelona matches since.
“Luis left Uruguay and moved to Dutch football, which has certain significance at a world-wide level, but his move to Liverpool put him on a higher level than many. Today he is playing a part in one of the most important trios in football history. That makes him very special,” Poyet told FourFourTwo.
“In England, he did good things in his first year, but by his second year, he was unique. Some people misunderstood my words when I said that Liverpool almost won the Premier League thanks to Luis Suarez. I just wanted to demonstrate the significance of Luis Suarez on the pitch. I wasn’t going against Liverpool.
“It happens in any part of the world. Napoli won the league when Diego Maradona was playing there. This doesn’t mean that I am saying that Napoli is nothing without Maradona. It is still Napoli, a great team. But it has been demonstrated that with Suarez, Liverpool was a better team.
“His departure has cost Liverpool a lot. Among other things, probably Brendan Rodgers’ job. Maybe if Suarez was still playing for Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers would be the coach today.”
It’s Poyet’s last point we find interesting, and something the man in question – Rodgers – likely thinks about plenty.
He had the Premier League’s safest job at the end of 2013/14 after a Suarez-led side came within a few points of the title, but 15 months down the line he was fired.
Replacing Luis Suarez with Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert undoubtedly played a huge part in Liverpool’s immediate fall from grace, although the Daniel Sturridge injury clearly played its part too.
Rodgers made countless mistakes that eventually earned him the boot, but it’quite possible that if we still had Suarez and Sturridge up top, our rise, as well as Rodgers’, could have continued.