Steven Gerrard revealed he was left ‘heart broken’ by Fernando Torres’ decision to leave Liverpool for Chelsea back in 2011, and claimed he was the best player he played with.
Torres joined Liverpool in 2007 from Atletico Madrid for around £20 million and was a huge hit at Anfield straight from the off.
The Spain striker had a brilliant partnership with Gerrard, the latter playing just behind the Reds’ striker, with Torres scoring 65 times in 102 league appearances for Liverpool.
He shook the club in January 2011 when, following a rejected bid by Chelsea, he handed in a transfer request and was sold to the club’s bitter rivals just days later for a British record of £50 million.
Liverpool were able to bring in Luis Suarez as his replacement, as well as Andy Carroll, but Gerrard was still left feeling ‘heart broken’ by his teammate leaving for Stamford Bridge.
“I didn’t play with Torres long enough because he went to Chelsea and broke my heart,” the Rangers manager told the Robbie Fowler podcast.
“If you asked me who was the best player on a daily basis consistently, Suarez was an animal but my best years were alongside Torres in terms of how I felt.
“At Liverpool at the time it always felt like we were taking huge strides and getting close and progressing really well, and then at a really key time and a key moment for the team and the group, a big player gets taken away and it takes time to recover from that.
“My relationship with Torres, I was getting a lot of goals at that time. I was at my peak and felt fantastic.”
The former Reds’ captain had two of his three best scoring seasons, both in the league and overall, whilst playing alongside the former Atleti striker.
In their first season together the former LA Galaxy players scored 21 goals in all competitions and he scored another 24 in their second.
The 40-year-old explained that he tried to get the former AC Milan forward to stay, also talking to the player’s agent, but it didn’t work.
Perhaps Torres should have listened to his teammate as he personally struggled in west London. At Chelsea he scored 45 less goal in eight more league games, although he did end up as a Champions League winner.
Comparing his former striker partners, Gerrard added, “I bumped into Torres and Suarez at the perfect time. More Torres because I’m in my peak years in those 2006, ’07 and ’08 years when I felt like I could go against anyone on the pitch.
“It didn’t matter who it was. I felt like I could face anyone at that time. I felt like I was at my peak. They’re my best memories from how I felt from a personal point of view.”