Gerrard: I told Rafa not sell Alonso

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has revealed that he tried to convince Rafa Benitez to keep Xabi Alonso at the club, rather than replace him with Gareth Barry.

The Basque midfielder left Anfield after five seasons for Real Madrid, and went on to spend six seasons with Los Blancos and then three with Bayern Munich, proving to be one of the finest pass-masters of his generation.

Barry moved to Manchester City and will break the record for Premier League appearances if he turns out for West Brom against Arsenal on Monday night.

Alberto Aquilani eventually arrived to replace the former Real Sociedad midfielder but didn’t have the desired impact, and Gerrard still insists more should have been done to keep the Spaniard.

"He wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth," Gerrard told BT Sport. "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."