LIVERPOOL may have seen former darling of the Kop Fernando Torres defect to Chelsea, but Anfield great Ian Rush believes time will prove the Reds did the better business in the last transfer window.
Torres has endured a miserable time since his British record £50m transfer, suffering defeat to his former team-mates on his debut last week, while one of his replacements, £23m Luis Suarez, has impressed already.
Andy Carroll, a £35m purchase from Newcastle, has yet to make his Liverpool bow, but club ambassador Rush has high hopes for the 22-year-old, and believes losing Torres but gaining Carroll and Suarez represents great business.
“It’s taken two players to replace Torres – that’s how good a player he was – but I think Liverpool have got the better deal,” Rush told City A.M. yesterday.
“He’ll do alright for Chelsea but we’ve got to look to Liverpool now and we’ve got two fantastic players who I think will be better in the long run. You’d never think the supporters would be happy if Torres left. But they seem to be with the two who have come in, so that says everything about them.”
Uruguayan Suarez, who netted on his Reds debut and hit the post in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wigan, was infamously sent off for handling during the World Cup to deny a goal to Ghana, who lost the ensuing penalty shootout. And Rush lauds that as proof of a champion’s mentality.
“When he handballed the thing he got sent off – for his country really, he was trying to protect them,” added Rush at a Standard Chartered Football Clinic in London, where disadvantaged children received coaching and a lesson in financial literacy. “When [Ghana] missed the penalty you could see the excitement on his face and that it meant a lot to him. You can’t buy that; it’s in you. He seems to be a winner.”
Would he be happy for Suarez to do likewise in Liverpool colours? “Yeah why not? It’s a natural instinct to do that.”
Rush also believes Carroll’s rough edges will be smoothed out by Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish and his staff, adding: “He’s still raw, but he’s a great target man and header of a ball, has a great left foot. With the right players and coaching we will see a better Carroll.”