July 25 (Reuters) - Liverpool chose the right time to part ways with the prolific-but-controversial striker Luis Suarez and the Premier League side will have no trouble coping without the Uruguayan, the club's principal owner John Henry said.
Suarez joined Barcelona on a five-year-deal despite receiving a nine-match international ban and a four-month suspension from all soccer-related activities over his World Cup biting scandal.
The 27-year-old, who cost the Catalan club 81 million euros ($109 million) according to Spanish media, was the Premier League's top scorer last season with 31 goals as Liverpool ended two points behind champions Manchester City and earned a return to Champions League for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
"It was time for Luis and time for the club to make a break," Henry was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. "He brought so much to the club but we brought a lot to Luis.
"I think you will still see a very explosive Liverpool offence this season."
Suarez, who was banned for biting Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's group stage clash with Italy on June 24, could make his La Liga debut in the El Clasico against Real Madrid on the weekend of Oct. 25-26 at the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who announced his retirement from international soccer earlier this week, would be offered a contract extension soon, coach Brendan Rodgers said.
The 34-year-old talismanic midfielder quit England to focus on his commitments for the club, where he has entered the final year of his current deal.
"I am very happy that Steven is now going to commit to Liverpool and I am sure that (his contract) is something that we will look at," Rodgers said.
"He is in real good condition and I'm sure it is something that will happen at some point... I'm sure he will want it sorted out, absolutely. You never want to leave players with not too long to go on their contract.
"A lot has gone on at the club over the course of the summer. It is something I am sure will get sorted."
($1 = 0.7423 euros) (Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)