Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez [Reuters] Reuters

Liverpool legend Ian Rush is hoping that Luis Suarez stays at Anfield for a "long time to come".

The Uruguayan international tried to leave the Merseyside club last summer. Arsenal made multiple bids for the 27-year-old but Liverpool chiefs rejected the Gunners' approaches.

Suarez has been in prolific form, scoring 23 goals and managing eight assists in 21 league appearances this season. His form, along with Daniel Sturridge's impressive run, has propelled Liverpool to fourth in the table with 53 points from 26 games, trailing league leaders Chelsea by four points.

Rush, Liverpool's all-time leading scorer, claims Suarez is the player of the year for him and his form has helped Sturridge improve his game.

"Luis has signed a new contract and you can tell by the way he plays he loves playing for Liverpool. The supporters love watching him and hopefully he will be there for a long time to come," Rush told the Liverpool Echo.

"He is putting a real shift in, and not just when Liverpool have the ball. Since Brendan Rodgers brought him back into the side he has been enjoying his football.

"Luis is my player of the year for the entire year. He is a joy to watch and his work-rate is incredible, which has affected Daniel Sturridge's game as well," he said.

Manchester United broke the Reds' 18 league titles record in 2011, before extending their tally to 20 titles last season. Rush believes the English champions have set a standard and the top flight clubs in England, including his former club, are closing the gap on United.

"Manchester United set the standard but obviously Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are catching them now. It was the same in the 1980s for Liverpool. People looked up to us to try to reach those standards and Manchester United got there," Rush explained.

Liverpool make a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round fixture on Sunday. The Reds have already registered a 5-1 victory over the Gunners in the league fixture at Anfield earlier this month.