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Brendan Rodgers: Luis Suarez owes Liverpool

Updated: Friday, 19 Jul 2013 10:26 | Comments

Brendan Rodgers said he was let down by Suarez when he bit Branislav Ivanovic
Brendan Rodgers said he was let down by Suarez when he bit Branislav Ivanovic

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes wantaway striker Luis Suarez owes it to his team-mates - and the club's fans - to stay at Anfield.

The Uruguayan's desire to leave Merseyside this summer has been clear from various interviews he has given over the last few weeks.

But Liverpool have emphasised they do not intend to sell the player and rejected an offer - understood to be £30million - for him from Arsenal.

And a bullish Rodgers spoke of how he has been let down by Suarez over the Patrice Evra race row and his subsequent bite on Branislav Ivanovic only to show continued loyalty to the Uruguayan, and he feels Reds players and supporters are also owed a debt of gratitude.

"It's not about me or the club, I think it's the supporters and his team-mates for what they gave him," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"What I do is the same for anyone. My success is not just about trophies, although hopefully when I finish my career I will look back on having won things.

"For me it is about more than that. It's about making people better people and supporting them when they need it. Luis doesn't need to show me anything because that's what I do.

"For me it's about the great supporters we have. The backing they have given him is absolutely brilliant.

"They have stood by him through thick and thin, and through all the traumas he has gone through over the last couple of seasons.

"If there is anyone he owes it's them and his team-mates, who have fought beside him, certainly not me."

"It's about the great supporters we have. The backing they have given him is absolutely brilliant" - Brendan Rogers

This week Liverpool confirmed Suarez had been named in the 27-man squad for their pre-season tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand, saying he was one of three players - all given extended leave due to being involved in last month's Confederations Cup - who would be joining the party later in the tour.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Jakarta, Rodgers said: "Luis Suarez is a wonderful player and he is still very much a Liverpool player.

"No matter who the player is, nobody is bigger than Liverpool Football Club.

"Luis is a very important member of this squad and I am looking forward to working with him again this season after he had such a fantastic season.

"There has been lots of speculation about Luis moving to another club but, as I said, he is very much a Liverpool player.

"We had an offer that was nowhere near what we value him at. He's one of the top strikers in the world.

"Of course he wants to work and play at the top level. But unless something drastic happens, he will be staying here.

"He has got three years left on his contract. We are looking forward to him helping us get into the Champions League spots.

"That's a competition we are fighting to get into. The great name and history of Liverpool dictates we should be in that competition.

"It is difficult these days with the finance some clubs have but I believe that we will put up a great fight this season. Let's hope we can get back to where we belong."

Last season - Rodgers' first as Liverpool manager, which saw them finish seventh in the Barclays Premier League - Suarez was a major success in front of goal, scoring 30 times.

But the 26-year-old's campaign ended controversially after he was handed a ten-game ban, six matches of which he is still to serve, for biting Chelsea defender Ivanovic during a fixture at Anfield.

Regarding that incident, Rodgers said: "What Luis did was wrong. He apologised to me and to his team-mates and the supporters.

"He will serve his punishment and now we have to put it behind us. We will move on and move on together. He knew what he did was wrong and he was told he was wrong by the football club."

The games Liverpool, who flew out from John Lennon Airport on Tuesday, have scheduled for the tour see them take on an Indonesia XI in Jakarta on Saturday, face Melbourne Victory in Australia on 24 July and then play Thailand in Bangkok on 28 July.

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