Meireles relishing Gerrard link-up

The former Porto star moved to Anfield just days before the close

of the August transfer window after manager Roy Hodgson spent

£10.7million of the proceeds of Javier Mascherano’s sale to

Barcelona. He has only played twice with Gerrard – with one of

those appearances for just for 14 minutes as a substitute at

Birmingham – and knows their on-field relationship can only

improve. Hodgson has admitted he does not yet know where the

Portugal international’s best position is, having played him

largely in the advanced role usually taken by Gerrard. But Meireles

knows he has a long way to go to start emulating the Liverpool

captain, whom he holds in the highest regard. “For a long time, I

have said that Gerrard is one of the top three midfielders in the

European game,” said the 27-year-old. “Along with Michael Essien of

Chelsea and Andres Iniesta of Barcelona, he has been the most

difficult opponent I have faced over the years. “Now I am his

team-mate. I think we can combine well together.” Meireles said he

understands Gerrard’s passion in playing for his hometown club as

he felt the same at Porto prior to his move. “I can sympathise with

people like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher because, like me,

they are players who have played for the major club in their city,”

he told LFC Weekly. “That brings pressures that are difficult to

deal with because when things go wrong, the local players sometimes

feel the frustrations of the supporters a lot more.”