Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed that he advised Rafa Benitez to steer clear of Gareth Barry while he was in charge at Anfield.
Barry, who has equalled Ryan Giggs' record of 632 Premier League appearances, will surpass the former Manchester United man's tally if he plays for West Brom against Arsenal on Monday.
The 36-year-old midfielder has been through stints at Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton. And he would have probably played for Liverpool too, had Gerrard not discouraged Benitez from buying him.
The now-Newcastle manager wanted to bring the Englishman in as a replacement for Gerrard's midfield partner Xabi Alonso. And the erstwhile captain was understandably against the move, given Alonso's status in the side.
Gerrard insists he wouldn't have minded Barry joining Liverpool if they were going to keep the Spaniard, but simply didn't see him as a good enough alternative.
“He [Rafael Benitez] wanted to move Xabi [Alonso] on and bring in Gareth [Barry] in. Now, for me that wasn’t the right move, although I’m a big fan of Gareth Barry,” said Gerrard told BT Sport.
“I’d had rather had him in to play alongside Xabi, because I think they could’ve worked together.
“I don’t think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth,” continued Gerrard.
“The fans love Xabi, he’s a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on."