Luis Suarez joins Barcelona: Brendan Rodgers stresses Liverpool will survive without Suarez after he completes £75m move to Barcelona

Rodgers claims Liverpool can be 'stronger' this season without Suarez after their star striker agrees to join Barcelona

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant the club will cope without the world-class talent of Luis Suarez.

The Reds agreed a club-record £75million deal with Barcelona on Friday and the Uruguay international - currently serving a four-month worldwide ban from all football activities for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup - will travel to Spain for a medical next week.

Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 appearances and won the golden boot last season with 31 in 33 league matches and his departure leaves behind a huge void but Rodgers said filling it was not insurmountable.

"If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual," he said.

"I am confident we will improve the team further and will be stronger for this coming season, when we will be competing on all fronts; domestically and in the greatest club competition in the world, the Champions League.

 

"We are focused on the future, as we strive to continue with the progress we have made and build on last season's excellent Barclays Premier League campaign.

"I hope our supporters continue to dream and believe that we are moving forward and with continued improvement and progression, together we will bring the success we all crave and deserve."

Read more: How Liverpool should fill their Suarez-shaped hole
Barcelona complete £75m Suarez signing
Suarez leaves Liverpool with a heavy heart

Suarez asked fans to understand his decision to leave for Spain less than a year after agitating for a transfer to Arsenal.

"I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision," he said in a statement.

"This club did all they could to get me to stay but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.

"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain.

Luis Suarez shirts go on sale in Barcelona Luis Suarez shirts go on sale in Barcelona "Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city but most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans.

"You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.

"I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.

"Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You'll Never Walk Alone."

Read more: Gerrard concedes 'emotional' day as Suarez leaves
Suarez's lawyer slams 'draconian' Fifa ban
Rodgers targets Bony to replace Suarez

Suarez left Anfield, however, with a reminder from Rodgers that while they were grateful for all he had done in his three-and-a-half years he should not forget that his improvement was linked with being at the club.

"Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played in the team in the past two years, during my time at Liverpool," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"I think he would be the first to accept he has improved as a player over that period, along with the team and has benefited from being here, as we have benefited from him.

"The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool.

"It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges.

"We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends."

PA

Suggested Topics
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect