Steven Gerrard: 'I told Rafael Benitez not to replace Xabi Alonso with Gareth Barry'

Gerrard 'talked Benitez out of signing Barry'
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Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard admits that he talked former Reds boss Rafael Benitez out of signing Gareth Barry as a replacement for Xabi Alonso in 2009.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has revealed that he talked former Reds boss Rafael Benitez out of signing Gareth Barry in 2009.

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder will break Ryan Giggs's record of 632 Premier League appearances should he feature against Arsenal on Monday.

Barry has enjoyed a fruitful 19-year career in the English top flight, having also represented Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton, as well as winning 53 England caps.

However, the 36-year-old's career could have seen him represent the Toffees' great rivals, were it not for an intervention from Liverpool's then-captain relating to the role of Xabi Alonso.

Gerrard told BT Sport: "[Benitez] wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth.

"Now, for me that wasn't the right move, although I'm a big fan of Gareth Barry. I'd rather have him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have worked together.

"I don't think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth.

"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."

Alonso ended up moving to Real Madrid, Barry joined Manchester City, and Liverpool brought in Alberto Aquilani, who only managed to make 18 top-flight appearances for the Reds.

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring his goal with Liverpool's English midfielder Steven Gerrard (L) during the English Premier League football match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool at Loftus Road in London on Oc
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