Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers now has the job of filling the world-class void left by Luis Suarez’s imminent departure.
Suarez’s £75m move to Barcelona was confirmed on Friday, leaving a gaping hole for the Anfield boss.
Rodgers had hoped to persuade Alexis Sanchez to move in the opposite direction as a makeweight, but the Chile striker signed for Arsenal on Thursday meaning the Reds boss has the full cash amount of the club-record transfer to spend.
“Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played in the team in the past two years, during my time at Liverpool,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“I think he would be the first to accept he has improved as a player over that period, along with the team, and has benefited from being here as we have benefited from him.”
He added: “I am confident we will improve the team further and will be stronger for this coming season, when we will be competing on all fronts; domestically and in the greatest club competition in the world, the Champions League.”