Former striker Luis Suarez may have gone but he has not forgotten Liverpool and he sent manager Brendan Rodgers a good luck message before their opening victory over Southampton at Anfield.
The controversial Uruguay international, who joined Barcelona in the summer for £75million in the wake of another biting furore and four-month ban, sent his well wishes to manager Brendan Rodgers and his former team-mates on Sunday morning.
His old partner Daniel Sturridge did his best to ensure Suarez will not be missed with the winner 10 minutes from time after Nathaniel Clyne had cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s first-half opener - although Rodgers is still in the market for a top-quality striker.
“Our ambitions here at Liverpool have to be bigger than one player,” said the Reds boss in relation to Suarez.
“He sent us a lovely text this morning wishing us all the best, which was a great gesture. He is a friend now of Liverpool. I texted him back. It’s a real love in! He’s a great boy but he is gone now.
“We do still want another striker but that will depend on the availability. Today was about winning and we got there.”
Sturridge’s goal was his 36th in 50 appearances and only George Allan, with 41 in the late 19th century, has scored more goals in his first half century of games for Liverpool.
Reigning champions Manchester City began their latest title defence with a 2-0 victory at St James’ Park.
Goals in either half from David Silva and substitute Sergio Aguero ensured City left Tyneside with all three points.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini praised his players for maintaining their concentration levels as their legs began to tire.
“I think the players were both hungry and humble,” he said. “We need both those things if we are going to continue winning titles and if we want to improve on what we did last year.”