Liverpool news

Johnson urges Suarez to stay

July 25, 2013
By Mike Whalley, Kevin Palmer

Glen Johnson has called on team-mate Luis Suarez not to walk away from Liverpool as Arsenal continue their attempts to lure the striker to the Emirates.

- Smith: No lessons learned from Suarez history

- Mangan: God, bad and ugly of Arsenal's Suarez pursuit

Suarez has made clear that he wants to leave Anfield, and Arsenal are hoping to sign him despite having two bids rejected.

Real Madrid have also been linked with a move for the striker, who was Liverpool’s 30-goal leading scorer last season. Both the Gunners and Real can offer Champions League football to Suarez, whereas Liverpool will not be playing in Europe this coming season.

But Johnson feels that Liverpool, who finished seventh in the Premier League last season, are moving in the right direction under manager Brendan Rodgers - and that Suarez can be a key part of their bid to progress.

The England right-back told the Liverpool Echo: "We are building under Brendan. With the owners that we have got now, you can see the foundations are there and everything is going the right way.

"If we can keep the players that we have got here then everything looks promising. The members of staff, the players - we are all the same. We want to keep Luis here."

Suarez is four games into a 10-match domestic suspension imposed after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match at Anfield on April 21.

That ban does not apply to friendlies, though, and the 26-year-old made his first Liverpool appearance since then as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Wednesday. Suarez set up a late goal for Iago Aspas, but responded with a subdued celebration.

Johnson, though, added: "It was good to see Luis back. He loves his football and he always wants to play. No matter what team you play for, it is always important to keep your best players."

Meanwhile, Gunners striker Olivier Giroud is the latest player to encourage Suarez to move to London, as he aims for the club to get off to a strong start to the season.

"I think we need maybe two or three more players. Yes, that's what we need. To show ambition," Giroud explained.

"The club has to show the fans that we want it. Me and my team-mates, we need it as well. It's all about the team. It will be a really positive thing if we have a new striker.

"I am not worried but I will wait until September so we know the team, the players. I never used to read the newspapers and I don't want to change my way of life but I have heard a lot of things and I know we need a striker.

"The most important thing is the team. We are waiting for one but we don't know. I think it will be good for the team and for me as well to have another striker, to have more competition between us. But I think I could play with him or without him. So I will be able to be in the first eleven this season. I really want to be in the first eleven this season, but we will see."

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