When considering potential transfers that could go through this summer, few have the potential to change the complexion of multiple leagues in the same way as a Bayern Munich move for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
When profiling five players who may well be among the plans of incoming Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, I didn’t hesitate to include the tempestuous Uruguayan in my considerations. With the Spaniard likely to wish to stamp his own imprint on Jupp Heynckes’ existing team, Suarez may be one of a number of players that Pep turns to in order to perfect the team’s approach.
With the Daily Mail identifying a £240 million "war chest" available to the new boss, money will surely be no consequence to Pep—even considering Bayern’s preference for young, Germany-based talent. It’s easy to see why the forward would "fit the bill" for the new man.
The Uruguayan offers all of the raw materials required to player as a reserved middle striker—the false nine—in a 4-3-3 formation, operating between the lines, wreaking havoc in the opposition defence, and forging opportunities for his teammates.
Could the addition of Suarez take this already-dominant side to the next level? If you believe that Bayern are on the cusp of immortality, then the controversial forward may well be the figure to complete the starting lineup—could he be the spark required to make this Bayern team one of the finest we have ever seen?
Despite being contracted to Anfield until 2018, and ignoring Liverpool alumnus Dirk Kuyt’s suggestion that the Uruguayan will be on Merseyside well into the future; it is perfectly believable that Liverpool would opt to cash in on their troublesome frontman.
Few clubs in the world can boast of a reputation and an international status greater than the Reds. While recent honours have been fairly thin on the ground, the team have a history very few can match.
The club’s identity has been carefully crafted, and this worldwide image has been cultivated to such an extent that Liverpool are still considered among the world’s greatest clubs despite their troubles of late.
The team also enjoys an enormous amount of goodwill; the city that produced the Beatles has always had the capacity to tug at the heartstrings, and the twin disasters of Hillsborough and Heysel, the former brought so emotively to the fore in recent times, have generated immense empathy and compassion for the club.
Having been born and raised on Merseyside myself, I know firsthand the emotional weight that "Liverpool," as a place of origin, carries in international circles.
Suarez’ litany of disgraceful misdemeanours—including this latest biting fiasco—has begun to undermine the goodwill associated with the club, and has gently eroded the "good name" of LFC. His reprehensible comportment in relation to the Patrice Evra racism incident brought down club icon Kenny Dalglish—forever providing an uncomfortable footnote in the Scot’s career—and is in danger of tarnishing the class and dignity on which Liverpool pride themselves.
With club legend Jamie Carragher departing this season, after 23 years of service, another of the team’s totems, one of their pillars of identity, will be no more—requiring them to once again strive to present a renewed (but consistent) image to the world.
While Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool fans would surely be inclined to keep hold of one of their finest players, it may be a case of addition by subtraction. A Suarez departure could, perversely, be a statement of intent for the club and an indication that the values that made Liverpool such a global giant, are still burning as bright as ever.
In some ways, Bayern’s gain might also be Liverpool’s gain, and a Guardiola bid for the Uruguayan frontman, might allow the supporting cast of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling the opportunity to become the club’s key players going forward.