Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers taken a swipe at Premier League rivals Arsenal following Luis Suarez’s magnificent display against Norwich on Wednesday night, after he scored four goals in the Reds’ 5-1 victory at Carrow Road.
Having seen the Gunners try and lure the Uruguayan striker away from Anfield during the summer, Rodgers said – with tongue in cheek – that he was perhaps now worth £40m and £2, making reference to Arsenal’s failed offer of £40m plus £1.
In scoring the first-half hat-trick, Suarez became the first Premier League player to net three times on three separate occasions against the same team, having also scored hat-tricks against the Canaries in April and September during 2012.
Rodgers was expectedly full of praise for the striker, who has seen the burden of providing goals for the Merseyside club increased after his partner-in-crime Daniel Sturridge was ruled out for up to two months through injury.
“It’s a joy to watch and I still think his best years are going to be here – you can just see it’s a hand-in-glove fit for him. He enjoys it here, it’s the happiest I’ve seen him,” Rodgers said.
“He has such a connection with this club and Anfield, he has a massive profile here and he feels so much at home. And don’t forget we create the conditions for him to produce his best.
“That was sheer brilliance, I haven’t seen many individual performances like that before.
“It was remarkable. I think you have to hold him up as one of the best strikers in the world – and yes, he’s maybe worth £40m and two pounds now!”
The victory leaves Rodgers’ side seven points behind the Gunners, who remain top after their 2-0 victory over Hull. Despite failing in their bid to sign Suarez in the summer, it was forgotten man Nicklas Bendtner who opened the scoring on his first Premier League start for over two years, heading in from Carl Jenkinson’s cross within two minutes.
Arsenal’s eventual summer signing in Mesut Ozil, once the Suarez pursuit had halted, doubled the score to maintain their lead at the top, but that didn’t appear to discourage Rodgers as he looks to hold onto his prized-asset beyond next summer. Liverpool will likely need to ensure a return to the Champions League next season, meaning that a top four finish this campaign is crucial to their hopes of keeping the 26-year-old.