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Liverpool legend Gerrard: I told Rafa not replace Xabi with West Brom midfielder Barry

Steven Gerrard has revealed he told former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez not to replace Xabi Alonso with Gareth Barry.

36-year-old Barry will break the Premier League games record on Monday night when he graces the field against Arsenal.

Alonso eventually joined Real Madrid in 2009, and Gerrard says the club should have done more to keep his midfield partner, rather than attempt to sign Barry, who was then with Aston Villa.

"He [Rafa Benitez] 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."

Liverpool ended up signing Alberto Aquilani as Alonso's replacement, but the Italian only played 18 Premier League matches, while Barry, who joined City from Villa, will appear in his 633rd on Monday night.

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Freddie Taylor

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