Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has stated it would have been a big error, had he left Liverpool and joined Arsenal last year.
The Gunners tabled a now-infamous bid of £40m plus £1 for the Uruguay international in the 2013 summer, in an attempt to trigger a rumoured release clause in his Reds contract. The player also protested for a transfer away, making public statements on his desire to leave the Merseyside outfit and sign for Arsenal, who had offered him Champions League football.
However, Liverpool turned down the offer and Suarez had no choice but to continue at Anfield for another year. And the forward went on to enjoy the best season of his career, notching 31 goals and 12 assists in 33 league appearances, to help the Reds mount a surprise title challenge, and claim the Premier League Golden Boot and PFA Player of the Year awards.
Suarez's performances for Liverpool did not go unnoticed, of course. Barcelona came calling last summer, despite the player being involved in yet another biting scandal at the 2014 World Cup, and the 27-year-old eventually moved from Anfield to Camp Nou for a fee around £75m.
The Uruguayan has now thanked Reds skipper Steven Gerrard for helping him to not make the "big error" of signing for Arsenal.
"It would have been a big error that I would have made had it not been for Steven Gerrard," Suarez stressed. "We spoke about this when I went to Melwood [Liverpool's training ground] to pick up my things at the end of the summer and he said: 'You did the right thing, you waited until the best moment.'
"He had told me [the previous summer] to play well for Liverpool, give it another year and it will be Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona coming for you and then you can go where you want, because you have the quality to play at any of those three clubs."
Suarez finished his four-month suspension for the biting incident last month, and has now made four appearances for Barcelona in all competitions, making three assists.