Rodgers: We will be stronger
Brendan Rodgers is confident Liverpool can still be a force despite losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
Suarez scored 31 goals and was named PFA Player of the Year as Liverpool got to within two points of the Premier League title.
His impressive record came despite missing the first six games of the season through suspension and Rodgers believes the club have shown time and again that they can cope without the 27-year-old.
“There is no doubt Luis was a wonderful player for us, but I think he himself realises he has benefited from the team of people here and the support the club has,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
“I think we have seen Luis has missed a lot of our games and we have still won a lot of those games so for us we just have to move on.
“There is certainly no dwelling on it, we have loved working with a fantastic player, but a player who obviously benefited from our work at Liverpool.
“We have every confidence in the current group we have – plus the group we will bring in with more signings – that we can improve them and hopefully they can improve to the levels Luis Suarez improved to in the last few years.
“It’s one where in my short career as a manager I have lost people who I thought would be key players for us but then you go away, reflect and ensure you bring in the right kind.
“And always after that my teams have been better teams. Luis is a fantastic player but he’s gone, we won’t dwell on it.
“This is Liverpool Football Club – not a small club but one of the great ones in world football. I think we will be stronger again this year in terms of depth.”
Liverpool were set to be without the striker until the end of October due to his four-month ban from all football-related activity for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
However, he is now a Barcelona player and Rodgers has revealed he did everything he could to keep the striker despite calls for him to get rid of him following a third biting incident.
“We did everything we could as a club to keep Luis,” he said. “He wanted to go and play in Spain, and unfortunately when a player no longer wants to play for you, we need as a club to look at it.
“It was his decision for him to go, he’s gone to Barcelona, a club he wanted to play for and now we’ll move on.
“I’m not sure if he would have gone regardless of the World Cup. But I never felt that towards the end of the season, and likewise he never said he would give us another year either. He had obviously signed a new deal so we had that.
“But I think we have had great service out of Luis and it’s one that we can’t worry too much about now, it’s done, it’s gone and our focus is here.
“There is a lot of work going on with the recruitment team in terms of getting in the right player and I am sure we can identify that.
“This club and many other clubs have shown over a period of time you move on, and believe me, it will be a really exciting season for us.”