LUIS SUAREZ has paid tribute to Steven Gerrard for advising him to stay at Liverpool and reject a move to Arsenal.
The Uruguay international looked set to move to The Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2013.
AFP4 Gerrard and Suarez almost won the title together for Liverpool after the Uruguayan stayed put
Arsenal triggered Suarez's release clause with a bid of £40million and one pound – but the Reds chose to ignore it.
Suarez was eager to leave Anfield for new pastures with the club having failed to qualify for the Champions League for a fourth straight season.
Gerrard however could see value in the forward staying at the club for another year, and promised him a European heavyweight would come in for him the following summer.
Suarez told Otro: "We qualified for the UEFA Europa League but the season ended badly.
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PA:Empics Sport4 Suarez went on to enjoy a fine individual season with the Reds
"I'm about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me 'I promise that if you stay this year you're going to take off and next year you'll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won't be better off at Arsenal'.
"This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
"His words convinced me in that moment.
"They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
Getty Images – Getty4 Liverpool agreed to join Barcelona – after he bit Chiellini at the World Cup
Reuters4 Suarez has enjoyed great success at the Nou Camp
"They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot."
Having decided to remain at Liverpool, Suarez enjoyed a fine 2013-14 campaign, winning the Premier League golden boot and scooping the prestigious PFA Players' Player of the Year award after netting 31 goals and as the Merseysiders narrowly missed out on the title.
Though he endured a controversial 2014 World Cup after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and earning a four-month ban, Gerrard's premonition came true as Suarez moved to Barcelona for £75million.
Since moving to the Nou Camp, Suarez has developed into one of Europe's most feared strikers, netting 172 times in 236 appearances for the Catalan giants where he has won 12 major honours.