Making a Case for Liverpool Selling Luis Suarez This Summer
Luis Suarez—love him or loathe him, there is no denying the fact that he is one of the world’s top strikers.
Voted as Liverpool Fans’ Player of the Year, as reported in the Liverpool Echo, the 26-year-old is an asset that the Anfield faithful would dearly like to hold onto beyond the summer months.
To them, he’s a Kop hero, a savior, a club legend-in-the-making.
For fans of other Premier League sides, he’s seen as an agent provocateur and a maverick, whose undoubted skill has been undermined by scandal.
Overseas, for the most part, he’s viewed as an extremely attractive proposition—a deadly striker in his prime, apparently unsettled at his current club. No wonder Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been hungrily eyeing him from afar.
And maybe Liverpool would be wise to sell.
In the next few slides, I will explain why Suarez’s sale would be a good thing for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
I expect this will incur howls of derision from the red half of Merseyside, so please feel free to comment below!
Unhappy in England?
It seems that Luis Suarez is not happy in England.
Comments made in an interview with Uruguayan radio station 890 Sport (via the Guardian) this week, signaled that Suarez was unsettled due to his treatment in the British press. He said:
I'm happy at Liverpool, I'm happy because of the fans. I made a mistake, I'm human, but [the press] talked about me in ways they shouldn't have. My family have suffered and things got out of hand. My daughter and my wife have suffered. I'm not prepared to continue to put up with the English press.
Suarez went on to talk about rumours, linking him to Real Madrid:
I've talked to my agent, there's nothing concrete. To say no to Madrid would always be difficult and more so with the team they have. I have a contract with Liverpool, but it would be very difficult to say no to Real Madrid. There are a lot of rumours in the transfer period, but you never know until firm offers are made.
If Suarez is unhappy with the way he's been handled in the public eye in England, who is to blame? Surely the media spotlight would not be so harsh had Suarez not given them plenty of tabloid fodder to feed upon.
Suarez’s comments about Real Madrid were a classic "come and get me" plea, and if his heart is not 100 percent Liverpool, then maybe it’s time to move on.
Sturridge, Coutinho and Co.
Brendan Rodgers brought two important signings to Liverpool in January in the shapes of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho scored three Premier League goals for the side and registered seven assists since joining from Inter Milan.
Impressive displays from the 20-year-old make it hard to believe that the Nerazzurri ever considered letting him go.
The midfielder’s inclusion in Liverpool supporters’ top five players of the year on liverpoolfc.com goes to show what an impact he’s had at Anfield in just four months.
And Sturridge, 23, has netted 11 goals and five assists for the Reds. According to the Daily Mail, this makes him the most prolific scorer in a striker’s first 13 games for the club.
The two have developed a fantastic partnership already, with Coutinho playing just behind Sturridge.
According to a report featured on Talksport, Liverpool have won an average of two points per game without Suarez in the side and 1.47 points with him in the lineup.
A sign, perhaps, that life will go on just fine without Suarez if he leaves Liverpool.
Fabio Borini should be back in the side in 2013/14 after an injury-plagued season, and newly-acquired striker Iago Aspas—formerly of Celta Vigo—will also give the side more attacking options.
Luis Suarez has incurred bans totaling 18 games since he signed for Liverpool in 2011.
Recently, Suarez punched Gonzalo Jara in Uruguay’s World Cup qualifier against Chile, as reported in the Guardian.
And Suarez did not win himself any friends after his memorable handball against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup by proclaiming in a quote to BBC Sport, "Mine is the real 'Hand Of God'. I made the save of the tournament."
It’s a rap sheet that is growing uncomfortably long.
Liverpool are a proud club with a rich history. Is it really worth losing their integrity over one player?
They could take a leaf out of Ajax’s book. In November 2010, Suarez bit Otman Bakkal. By January, he was gone.
Champions League Football
To look at the situation with complete neutrality, it’s impossible not to concede that Luis Suarez should be playing Champions League football.
Take away any club bias and I think most people would agree that a player of his caliber, at the age of 26, should be proving his worth in Europe.
He is part of a select group—one of the most elite strikers in world football.
Liverpool did not manage to secure Champions League football next season. In fact, they have not competed in the competition since 2009/10.
It seems improbable to think that Suarez will not leave Anfield in search of European competition at its highest level.
The Sun claims that Luis Suarez could leave Liverpool for a fee upwards of £35 million.
The Mirror have also reported that Luis Suarez has a £40 million release clause in his current contract at Anfield.
Whereas the Daily Mail suggests that the striker is already the subject of a £40 million bid from Real Madrid.
Liverpool's financial situation is increasingly clouded by debt, which has increased by one-third this season, according to the BBC Business website:
The Premier League club made a loss on player transfers of £1.7m, compared with a £43.3m profit a year earlier when its financial situation was boosted by the £50m sale of striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea.
The Telegraph reported in early January that Daniel Sturridge's price was in the region of £12 million; Philippe Coutinho cost £8.5 million in late January, according to the Daily Mail; and, most recently, the Liverpool Echo reported that Iago Aspas is thought to be costing the club an approximate £7.7 million.
It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but the sale of Suarez in his prime will be a good financial move for Liverpool.