Liverpool Transfer News: Luis Suarez's Desire to Stay Is Great News for Reds
Not that any player is necessarily bigger than the club and not that any player is immune to a possible transfer at the discretion of the manager and board, but there are few players in world football that are as fundamental to their club's success as the Uruguayan international has been to the Reds this year.
Having let Andy Carroll leave on loan to West Ham this season and not really bringing any adequate striker replacements for the talisman, Suarez was forced to shoulder much of—if not all of—the attacking load at times. And whilst he wasn't able to lead the Reds to Champions League qualification or Europa League glory like many had hoped, his 26 goals in 37 games show that he did his best.
There is simply no doubting his commitment and achievements this season.
However, Suarez's 2013 will no doubt be remembered for one moment of madness against Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, where Suarez now infamously bit the Blues' defender. He was not punished at the time, but he was later cited and reported by the Football Association, which banned him for 10 games—thus ending his season with the Merseyside club.
For many, the ban sparked discussion about whether his career at Merseyside had also ended, with the Reds coming under growing pressure to sell their star striker. Not for his on-field inconsistencies but for his off-field antics and the growing reputation that he was gathering from his ridiculous actions.
Liverpool were seemingly in somewhat of a tough spot with it all.
Obviously they didn't want to sell Suarez given how they'd bought big over the winter transfer window based on Suarez being in the team. They'd also seen firsthand how brilliant he could be, with his slew of goals this season fundamental to their wins and overall positioning in the league table.
However, at the same time, they didn't want to be the ones sticking up for a player with that bad of a reputation. Like we'd seen earlier in the season with Manchester City and Mario Balotelli, there comes a point where teams—regardless of how much they've invested in and stuck by a player—sometimes need to cut loose the things that are troubling them.
Suarez had the ability to become just that to Liverpool—trouble.
Thus, in that context, Suarez's decision to come out and vouch for his future at Liverpool is the greatest news possible. It doesn't put the club in an awkward position regarding conflicts of interest—they can now simply stick by the player (which they no doubt wanted to do) and look like they are doing nothing but supporting the striker and what he wants.
Suarez spoke via The Sun earlier this weekend—telling them how much he wants to stay at Anfield and how much he missed being in the Merseyside derby.
I have a deal with Liverpool and this is my present—and future. From the day I arrived, I saw how special this derby is, so it is a pain to miss it. But we have a big squad which can function without me...
For Liverpool, the news is no doubt great—especially for their fans, who want to see the illustrious club back competing for titles once more.
They know that Suarez is the future to doing that, and as they showed against Everton in their recent derby, their attack isn't as prolific and organized as it is with the Uruguayan in the team. The Reds might have netted six against Newcastle, but the reality is that they just aren't as good without Suarez and his attacking direction as they are with him in their team.
That isn't a surprise given how crucial he's been this season.
Suarez isn't irreplaceable at the Reds, but it would take a special player to fill the enormous shoes that he would leave behind at Anfield. Barcelona striker David Villa is probably the best player to be linked with a move to fill his role, but even he would struggle to "be what Suarez is" to Liverpool.
The striker is both a target and a creative weapon. He is a goalscorer and an assist worker, and he is inextricably mixed with whatever success Liverpool have—both now and in the future.
Suarez has scored or assisted in 16 Premier League games this season, and the fact that the Reds have not lost any of those games shows just how key he is.
His departure might have seemed like it would be a good chance for the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho to take over but it's not. It would simply be a chance for Liverpool to undo the positive steps they've taken in the past few months and put them back to square one again.
Whatever your thoughts on Suarez's actions off the field, there's little doubting his brilliance on it and there's little disputing his centrality to Liverpool's future success.
For that alone, his desire to remain at Liverpool is great news for the Reds.
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