Liverpool legend Hyypia would 'rather play against Carroll than Suarez'

The ex-Reds defender returns to Anfield on Sunday as manager of Bayer Leverkusen, and says that he would have been comfortable playing against the misfiring England striker.
Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia says that he would have preferred to play against Andy Carroll rather than Luis Suarez when he was a player.

Carroll's future is in doubt at the Reds after scoring just 11 goals since moving to Anfield for 35 million pounds in January 2011 and he has been the subject of bids from former club Newcastle United as well as West Ham. Hyypia, who returns to Anfield as manager of Bayer Leverkusen for a preseason friendly on Sunday, admitted that he was not one of the 23-year-old's admirers.

"I can't say that I'm a fan of Andy Carroll but I can't say anything against him," Hyypia told reporters. "If I was thinking I had to play against a striker I would rather play against Andy than Luis Suarez. The type of player Andy is, that would suit me better than Suarez.

"Suarez is a very good player. I think I would hate to play against him!"

Despite his lukewarm assessment of Carroll, Hyypia believed that top talent remained in the Reds' ranks, with the 38-year-old identifying Manchester City target Daniel Agger as one of Brendan Rodgers' best players.

"Steven Gerrard has been a top player for years now and he is getting a bit older and wiser," he continued. "Daniel Agger is a very, very good center half. Hopefully he can stay fit and play the whole season without injury. He can then show how good a player he really is."

The giant Finn, who played 464 times for Liverpool between 1999 and 2009, said he was glad to return to Merseyside and hasn't ruled out the possibility of a role at the club in the future.

Hyypia would not be drawn into offering an opinion on the club's latest managerial change, but hoped to see the club return to title contention in the Premier League.

"It's good to be back at Anfield, and hopefully I will get a good reception from the Liverpool fans," he added. "I would like to come back here but I haven't really thought about it.

"Kenny (Dalglish) has a special place with Liverpool but difficult to say if it was a good or bad decision to fire him. In football that can happen and everybody has to accept the decision. Hopefully Liverpool can return to the state of 10 years ago."

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