Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard says he was left “devastated” when Xabi Alonso was sold to Real Madrid this summer.
Gerrard played alongside Alonso in the heart of the Reds midfield for five seasons before the Spaniard was tempted by the lure of the Bernabeu and parted company for £30million in August.
And Gerrard says no one can deny that Liverpool’s bad form in the early stage of the current season can be put down to Alonso’s sale.
He told FourFourTwo magazine, “I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do about it. Xabi said a long time ago that he wanted another chapter in his career and finally he got it and his team-mates and the coaches couldn’t stand in his way. We just have to say thanks and move forward without him.
“It’s always going to be different when you lose one of the best players in the world,” Gerrard added, “And people are finally realising that’s what he is, on the back of his form for Real Madrid and the difference in us from last year. We’ve got other midfielders here doing a good job but it will take a while before Alonso’s out of our system because he was such a top player.”