Ajax coach Frank de Boer believes Luis Suarez would have been a perfect fit for Arsenal, but is now tipping his former star to realise his ambitions at Liverpool.
The Uruguayan could well have been lining up for the Gunners in Saturday evening's top-of-the-table clash, after pushing for a £40 million-plus move to Emirates Stadium in the summer.
But Liverpool refused to sell, and the striker has since reaffirmed his commitment to the Anfield club, returning from his 10-match ban with six goals in four league outings.
De Boer told FourFourTwo: "No one wants to sell their best player, so it was a normal stance for Liverpool to take. Everyone at the club could see how important he is and if you have any desire to get back to the top in England, you have to keep that type of player because he is the kind of character key to winning titles.
His main aim is always to be important for his team-mates...
"I don't think the match will see him trying to show Arsenal what they missed out on. To be honest, I don't think the summer speculation will be in his mind at all. He'll just want to show the world just how good Luis Suarez is again.
"His main aim is always to be important for his team-mates. He always did that at Ajax and you can see he is doing the same at Liverpool now. He loves the big stage."
De Boer had just taken charge of Ajax when Suarez pleaded for a move to Anfield back in January 2011.
The Dutch giants were unable to hold onto their prized asset, and De Boer admits he wasn't surprised to see his ex-hitman seeking pastures new during the summer.
"I think Champions League football is something he's desperate for," said De Boer.
"I also think the styles of the two clubs played a part. Liverpool have a more English style and Arsenal have been playing some of the most attractive football in Europe for many years.
"But he's committed to Liverpool now and I think it is a good club for him. It is a club with a great history and magnificent fans.
Suarez at Ajax
- 2007/08: Apps 42, Goals 22
- 2008/09: Apps 43, Goals 28
- 2009/10: Apps 48, Goals 49
- 2010/11: Apps 24, Goals 12
"For me, I'd like to see him stay at Liverpool and for them to bring in some more quality players to play around him.
"Suarez is such a key player and he would be for any team in the world. I don't know if Liverpool can continue how they have started, but Suarez will be massive for them.
"He is so important and has the ability to win matches almost single-handedly.
"Maybe in the last few years it has been just him doing it on his own for Liverpool, but now they have Sturridge around him and he is no longer the only danger to the opposition.
"It is great for Liverpool and they are definitely getting closer to fighting for the title again. Having Suarez in the team obviously helps and this season they should be up there fighting for the top four places."
De Boer added: "Suarez is a real winner. He is just driven to score goals and to win. That's what he's all about. It's a quality you don't see so much. He is so eager to win and do well for the team. He is a real professional. OK, sometimes he can overreact on the pitch but he just wants to win and works so hard. He is a great player."comments