Mascherano criticises club over treatment of Torres


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The Independent Football

Javier Mascherano did little to enhance the way Liverpool supporters remember him yesterday by declaring that he was not surprised Fernando Torres had followed him out of Anfield and that, in his own case, the club had shown no interest in keeping him.

The Argentine's recollection of his £22m departure to Barcelona did not entirely tally with Liverpool's memory of it, Mascherano having been keen to leave in the summer of 2009 before pushing for the release he was granted in August. Roy Hodgson certainly attempted to talk him around, though it is the way Liverpool reacted to his exit that also seems to have upset him.

"I was not surprised about what happened with Fernando," said Mascherano. "When I left Liverpool, it looked as if I killed someone. It is sad that the people who did something important with the club have to leave by the back door. It is sad the press and the club try to convince people that it is all the player's fault when the reality is that Liverpool didn't show the interest in keeping us in the club."

Following Torres's £50m transfer to Chelsea on deadline day the Spaniard earned censure for his comments suggesting he is much better off at Stamford Bridge than he was at Anfield and that Liverpool are not a "top club".

Mascherano had little time for such fan grievances. "The most important players didn't leave the club well. I spoke with Fernando and I said to him that he doesn't have to be worried because he did his best for the club. Even though he didn't win any trophies, he was a very important player and helped this club all the time."

Mascherano was offered a new contract by the then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez last April but stalled on signing it. Even before Benitez left Anfield, Mascherano was complaining that his wife was a "prisoner" in a Merseyside tower block. He left the club four months later. Mascherano has appeared 14 times for Pep Guardiola's side since his move.

Blackpool's manager Ian Holloway has said Liverpool did not sign Charlie Adam because he was "third choice" in their priorities, after Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez. "He shouldn't be third choice. They shouldn't be doing other deals, putting their energy into that and doing nothing for my Charlie," Holloway said.

"The boy will go to a top club eventually but he has to go on the right footing, where they really want him, and to be perfectly honest I didn't feel that was the case." Blackpool rejected Liverpool's £10m bid for Adam.