Rooney has seen a move to Chelsea flicker out this month.
"Wayne was the best player on the pitch the other night," said Gerrard. "I've been in situations myself when there is speculation swirling around and, of course, it does affect you. But I know Wayne as a character and he can cope because he's had that type of attention since he was 16. I know how much he loves playing against Liverpool. If he plays (today), there's no doubt in my mind he can play well.
"Are United weaker without him? Yeah. I think he'll have a fantastic season for them and look to break records - which is not very good news for everyone else in the Premier League."
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