When you're a one club man, it's never you who does the leaving. Steven Gerrard has seen a parade of players pass through the doors at Melwood in his lengthy tenure on Merseyside, but every so often a truly special player arrives and clicks with the captain in a way that makes the new recruit's eventual departure all the more traumatic.
Gerrard always speaks with a great depth of emotion whenever a cruel interviewer brings up the subject of Xabi Alonso or Fernando Torres. These were players whose transfers left the captain, in his own words, "devastated" and "heartbroken." Gerrard's angst over what could have been with the Gerlonso and Gernando partnerships has fuelled many a poorly written piece of fan fiction in the ensuing years, and the most recent will-he-or-won't-he transfer saga involving Luis Suarez brought a fresh round of agony to an already twice-burned player.
"When you have a player as good as Luis Suarez, you know that the big clubs are going to want him," Gerrard told The Guardian. "I was waking up every morning, hoping that nothing would happen and that he would still be here.
"Nobody tried harder than me to do that [convince him to stay] and he knows exactly what I think of him. I knew if we could keep him here, the better our chances would be. He is a special type of footballer and he gives us something different."
It's certainly well within a captain's job description to speak to out-of-sorts players going through what might charitably be called "emotional turmoil," but Gerrard's summer spent worrying "every day" that Suarez would leave has him sounding invested beyond just wanting to ensure a higher place in the table for Liverpool come the end of May. In spite of Suarez's want away tendencies, Gerrard maintains the striker has turned a corner in his relationship with his team.
"When the club got the message to him that they were not going to sell him, he got his head down and has worked hard," Gerrard continued, echoing sentiments expressed previously by teammates like Kolo Toure. "He has never given us a moment's problem.
"I think you have to give credit to Luis for the way he has come back. A lot of players who have been in his position might have come back and spat the dummy out, not trying for the team, but he is not that type of guy.
"He realised that the club wanted to keep him and he has respected their decision. He is here now and he wants to stay. He wants to achieve something this season and he looks as hungry as he has ever done."
Suarez always gives the old Brendan Rodgers 200% when he's on the pitch, and his commitment in that area has never really been questioned. That Suarez "wants to stay" will be met with at least a modicum of cynicism from a fan base that, to be fair, does not benefit from the same insider relationship with Suarez that Gerrard does.
Whether Gerrard and Suarez are on the same page about what "wants to stay" means is known only to the two of them, but there's an inevitablity regarding Suarez's future departure that means Gerrard might want to start readying his break-up playlist sooner rather than later.