Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has opened up on advising former boss Rafael Benitez not to sign Gareth Barry in 2009.
During coverage of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Leicester City yesterday evening, Gerrard was questioned on the departure of former Reds teammate and midfield partner Xabi Alonso, who was sold to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
The duo were known to be close friends off the pitch as well as a lethal combination on it, with ‘Stevie G’ having repeatedly spoken of his admiration for Alonso in the years since their parting ways.
Not the right move
The 37-year-old last night once again reiterated his wish that Liverpool had done more to keep hold of Alonso ahead of his move to the Bernabeu 8 years ago, while also revealing that Gareth Barry had been earmarked by then-Reds boss Rafael Benitez as the ideal replacement for his classy Spanish teammate.
‘He (Benitez) wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth.’
However, Gerrard was quick to point out that he did not agree with this move, and that he actually advised his former manager to opt against signing Barry, who instead joined Manchester City that summer.
‘Now, for me that wasn’t the right move, although I’m a big fan of Gareth Barry.’
‘I’d rather have him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have worked together.’
‘I don’t think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth. The fans love Xabi, he’s a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on.’