Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard believes his recent injury has given him a deeper appreciation for Luis Suarez.
The 24-year-old Uruguayan joined the Reds from Ajax in January, and has been the club’s most prolific scorer this term with seven goals in 13 appearances.
“To see Luis day in, day out has been a real eye-opener for me”, Gerrard told LFC magazine.
The Liverpool captain has been sidelined since undergoing treatment for an ankle infection he picked up earlier this season, but believes watching from the stands has revealed to him the true potential of the South American star.
“Having worked with him on a regular basis I think he has the potential to be one of the best in the world,” he said.
Suarez was recently nominated for this year’s Ballon d'Or and is continuing to grab headlines after scoring all four goals in his country’s 4-0 win over Chile.
Despite Gerrard’s absence, Liverpool have continued their positive start to the season, currently lying sixth in the table behind Tottenham Hotspur.
But he believes the Reds can do better.
“I think the squad is looking stronger, probably the strongest we’ve had for a long time. Now it’s all about delivering," he said.
“We need to focus on each game and try to build on what we’ve shown over the past 20 or so games.”
Liverpool have a succession of tough games ahead, including two away to Chelsea (one in the League Cup) and one at home to Manchester City.
The next fortnight could be a season-defining one for the Merseyside club as they chase the Champions League spot that has eluded them since 2009.
Gerrard thinks the fans expect the players to deliver.
“The fans demand not just effort, but quality. With all due respect, at some other places you get away with performances that simply aren’t good enough.
"At Liverpool your standards have got to be so high every single week. You have to perform every time. That's what I've had to do every year and that's what the new lads are coming to terms with."
By Habib Msallemcomments