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The veteran Anfield defender believes the Uruguayan attacker is close to his long-time team-mate in terms of quality, and has backed him to be named Player of the Year

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says that Luis Suarez rivals Steven Gerrard as the best player he has lined up alongside at Anfield and believes the Uruguayan deserves to be crowned the Player of the Year.

The 35-year-old will be retiring at the end of the season after spending his entire career with the club, and admits that despite Gerrard being the best he has played with, Suarez is beginning to challenge that notion.

"Every side has a couple of players who you hope can turn things for you and Luis does it on a weekly basis for us," Carragher told reporters.

"I've played with a lot of top players here and I've always said Stevie was the best player I've played with. But Luis is definitely on his shoulder, he is very close.

"He put in another top performance against Aston Villa and shows why he deserves to be PFA Player of the Year."

Suarez leads the scoring charts in the Premier League this season with 22 goals, three in front of Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, while the Netherlands international has eight assists to Suarez's four.

The 26-year-old is one of the favourites for this year's Player of the Season award but faces strong competition from Van Persie and Tottenham's Gareth Bale, who has been in inspired form throughout the campaign.

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