I wouldn't swap Suarez for Van Persie, insists Liverpool boss Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists he would not swap Luis Suarez for his Manchester United counterpart Robin van Persie.

The Uruguayan has been in blistering form so far this term, having notched 15 Premier League strikes in 20 appearances – a figure only bettered by the Dutchman, who has 16.

And ahead of the Reds’ trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, the former Swansea coach has backed Suarez over the flying Dutchman.

“What would my response be to that question? I’ve already got Suarez, so I wouldn’t want to swap, that’s for sure,” he told reporters.

“I can only comment on him. I can’t comment on who is better. All strikers bring different things to the game. I think we’re blessed to have someone like Luis who has carried the club for the first six months of this season by himself, in terms of being a lone striker.

“He was our only fit and available frontman and he is a player who, every single day, gives everything. Some people have off days but this is a guy who is up for the game. His motivation is at a high level every day in training.

“You can’t ask for any more from him. I’m very blessed and privileged to work with such a player.”

Rodgers went on to underline the importance of his side’s next fixture and expressed a desire for the Merseyside club to challenge their rivals’ recent dominance.

“It’s two of the biggest clubs in the world, not just in Britain,” he continued. “Two clubs who are renowned worldwide.

“I’ve always known about Liverpool but in my short period of time here, being away on pre-season and seeing everything that goes on around the football club, I’ve realised the sheer size of the club.

“It’s history that makes a club. Of course we are fighting in the present moment to be better and to improve but the history of this club is incredible.

“Both clubs are institutions in their own right.

“People will knock it at the moment because of the standards that were achieved here in the 1970s and 1980s, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the biggest clubs in the world, and a club many players want to play for.

“Of course Manchester United have been very dominant over a number of years, but this is a football club that also had dominance for many years.

“What you are always fighting for, every day, is to get back to that level.

“It’s a long, hard journey but it has to start somewhere, and what I’ve seen in this first period that I’ve been here is that going forward, we can achieve great things.

“We’re all up for the challenge. You’re defending more than just a football club in a game like this.

“Liverpool is a city which is very passionate about football. But it’s also a football game and we’re high in confidence on the pitch at the moment.

“We go into the game in a really good moment having won seven out of our last nine games. We have good confidence and good belief.

“What I’m starting to see now, in the last couple of months, is the courage to play and that is important. To go to one of your rivals and to have that courage and belief to play our own game, is something that we will look to do.”

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