Steven Gerrard Talks Possible Reds Exit, Says Luis Suarez Too Good for Arsenal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

England national soccer team captain Steven Gerrard answers a question from a member of the media during a press conference after a squad training session that was closed to the media for the 2014 soccer World Cup at the Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014.  Costa Rica's surprise 1-0 win over Italy on Friday meant that England made its most humiliating exit from a World Cup since 1958, following consecutive defeats by the Italians and then Uruguay in Group D.  England play Costa Rica in their final Group D match on Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Updates from Friday, August 1

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger responded to Gerrard's potshots on Friday, according to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hit back at Steven Gerrard's claims he warned former team-mate Luis Suarez away from the Gunners because he was 'too good' for the club.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard told Suarez last summer not to join Arsenal because his dream was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, but Wenger has reacted with a simple message for the midfielder.

'You are never too good for Arsenal and Gerrard knows that,' said Wenger on Friday.

Original Text

Liverpool fans have been put on alert after Steven Gerrard suggested his playing days may not end at Anfield, opening up about the possibility of following Frank Lampard with a switch to Major League Soccer.

Lampard recently completed a move to soon-to-be MLS franchise New York City FC, and David Maddock of the Mirror quotes the Reds captain hinting he'd be interested in a similar switch in the years to come:

One day that might happen to me, I don’t know. I’ve never really discussed it with anyone or thought about it. Maybe one day I would like the chance to go away from Liverpool for a short time and try something different.

I think Frank has made a great decision. At his age, 36, he’s had a wonderful career and I don’t think he has anything to prove in England in any more. He’s broken records with Chelsea and won everything with them. I think it’s a perfect move for him. But I haven’t given it much thought. That carrot hasn’t been dangled yet.

Gerrard currently has a year remaining on his contract at the club where he's spent his entire career, having first joined the Liverpool academy in 1987, aged nine.

However, despite the deal's expiration now coming within view, the Premier League giants seemingly have a relaxed outlook on their captain's situation, with Gerrard detailing that talks of a new contract are yet to begin:

Brendan [Rodgers, Liverpool's manager] has mentioned a new deal a couple of times in the media. But no talks have happened. I am not trying to call the club out or anything like that. It’s not like that. I’m sure we will talk in the future but we will have to wait and see. I hope that I'm here for more than one year, of course I do. But it is all about this season for me.

Rodgers is attempting to follow up last season's second-place finish in the Premier League with an even brighter campaign in 2014-15, one that will see Liverpool return to the Champions League for the first time since 2009.

Clint Hughes/Associated Press

And as Gerrard states, this is as big a season for him as it is for any of the club's new signings, of which there are many. Media tactics are a major factor in modern football when players' contracts are concerned, but one can believe 34-year-old Gerrard when he states his intention is to play on for as long as possible at Liverpool.

We Play's Nik Postinger hypothesises how odd it would be for the playmaker to feature anywhere else but notes stranger things have happened:

Suarez's loss will be a particularly intriguing aspect of the club's campaign. Gerrard believes his former teammate was right to opt for a move to Barcelona instead of remaining in the English top flight, claiming his talents are too good for the likes of Arsenal, per the Mirror's Maddock:

His dream all along, from the first day he came, was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Last summer, when he was out in the cold and training on his own, that’s the conversation I had with him. I said, ‘Don’t go to Arsenal.’ With all due respect to them, I said to him that he was too good for Arsenal.

Gerrard's comments are likely to earn him a cold reception at the Emirates this season, but he makes no effort to hide his admiration for Suarez's quality. The Uruguayan so nearly fired Liverpool to the title, showing form that ultimately earned him his dream move.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 12: A shirt of new FC Barcelona player Luis Suarez are seen on display at the FC Barcelona official store on July 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

The Liverpool skipper, unlike Suarez, has never had to move to play for his dream club, but it will come as a shock to Reds fans to hear that Gerrard may not finish his career as a Red.

The United States has become a popular payday destination for Europe's ageing stars, and one could argue that the Liverpool icon is deserving of his time to pursue a project elsewhere.

As Sachin Nakrani of The Guardian states, Gerrard's leaning toward a departure may also be influenced by what's been a difficult time for him, missing out on a Premier League title by inches before enduring a torrid World Cup campaign with England:

For 27 years and counting, Liverpool have been fortunate enough to count Gerrard as one of their own, but the inevitable end will be reaching its climax in the seasons to come.

That being said, a lot will rely on how the 2014-15 campaign unravels, and if Gerrard can lead the Reds in a similar vein of success as he did last term, there may yet be a few more years on Merseyside to look forward to.