Steve McManaman: Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale comparisons are "lazy"

Steve McManaman tells Sports Mole that the situation at Liverpool following Luis Suarez's departure is different to when Gareth Bale left Tottenham Hotspur.

Steve McManaman has insisted that there are few similarities in the aftermath of the deals that have seen Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale leave the Premier League.

Wales international Bale joined Real Madrid in 2013 for a world-record £85m - a figure that his club Tottenham Hotspur surpassed in recruiting seven players, many of whom failed to impress during their debut seasons at White Hart Lane.

This summer, Liverpool sold last season's leading goalscorer Suarez to Barcelona for a reported £75m, with eight players so far having arrived on Merseyside.

However, while Spurs were criticised for their policy in replacing Bale, BT Sport pundit McManaman has told Sports Mole that Brendan Rodgers needed to substantially bolster his Anfield squad, irrespective of whether Suarez remained with the club or not.

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014© Getty Images

"It's quite lazy to compare the situation with Bale leaving for Real Madrid. They are two different teams, two different managers and two completely different setups. It's easy to look at the Spurs situation, but if you look back far enough, you'll see sides that have invested heavily and have gone on to win the league," said the former Liverpool winger.

"Liverpool always needed to bolster the squad from 13 top players to 18 or 19 top players that they can rely on for the Premier League and Champions League - that's what they've done. Regardless of Luis Suarez staying or going, they needed to make a significant number of additions.

"He's brought in a mixture of young players and experienced players. Brendan has pinpointed these players and wanted them for a while. You've just got to trust them. I'm not expecting any of them to be superstars, but as long as a couple of them take up the mantle and do well and the young players show signs of adapting to the Premier League, that's the main thing.

"I don't expect Emre Can or Markovic to light the Premier League up because they've only just arrived in England and it's a very difficult league. I like Adam Lallana. He had a great season with Southampton and the way that Liverpool play will really suit him. He's a proper Premier League player and he is used to the exertions of it."

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool is congratulated by teammate Luis Suarez after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on January 28, 2014© Getty Images

As far as a direct replacement for Suarez is concerned, of the eight players that have been signed by Rodgers, only Rickie Lambert is a natural centre-forward and the England frontman is not expected to be a regular starter next season.

As a result, McManaman has called on all of last season's team that remain in place to "improve", with the onus on two players in particular.

"Everybody has to improve. Liverpool are playing in the Champions League this season so they all need to step up. Daniel Sturridge had a great season, scoring 20-odd goals and he needs to beat that. Raheem Sterling broke through and was brilliant - his improvement was astonishing," McManaman added.

"As we seem to be in this country, they are both England internationals and we expect improvement again. The pressure will be on them and there is no bigger stage than the Champions League, which is going to be really difficult for them because they are going to play a lot of games, but it's so exciting."

Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign on Sunday afternoon at home to Southampton.

Steve McManaman is a pundit for BT Sport. This season BT Sport will show 38 Barclays Premier League matches exclusively live plus top games from the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and live action from more top flight football leagues than any other UK TV provider.

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014
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