Luis Suarez keeps changing the story.
At first, he wanted to leave Liverpool because, darn it, the English media just wasn't fair! Not appreciative of how he was depicted by the press, Suarez made it clear he wanted to leave England and take his talents to another country.
But now, it appears the narrative is shifting again. From Sky Sports:
If I receive an important offer to progress my career, I will study it. Some clubs have asked about me but I hand questions over to my agent. I am no stranger to rumours.
I always want to improve. That's why I left Ajax for Liverpool. But this club needs to fight to enter the Champions League and, when it doesn't happen, it damages the morale of any player. So I've suffered.
It is hard to view the Premier League every week with never a chance of winning it.
On top of that, the English media do not understand me. The controversies with (Patrice) Evra and (Branislav) Ivanovic were decisive. There are always extra questions when people analyse me.
After the Evra incident, it was very difficult to convince people about the 'real' Luis Suarez. Things had improved but then the incident involving Ivanovic was another blow. Had that not happened, perhaps I would have been regarded as the best Premier League player last season.
When Suarez first declared his intent to leave Anfield this summer, he had nothing but positive things to say about Liverpool and cited that his desire to leave was simply in regard to how he was treated by the English media.
So why the shift, Luis? Why now mention Liverpool's lack of Champions League football or lack of a realistic chance to win the Premier League title?
There are three ways of looking at this:
- Suarez is trying to make himself look like the victim here. He's suffered without Champions League football, you guys, and he deserves your sympathy, not your ire. Don't hate him just because he wants to leave. He's an elite player—he deserves better, don't you think?
- Suarez has now entered the "I'll do anything to leave" stage. Before, he knew there was the possibility he might have to stay next season as he was under contract, so he didn't want to burn bridges with the fans. Now, he doesn't care. He wanted to be moved by now and it hasn't happened, so he's making it very clear he's unhappy at Liverpool.
- All of the above.
My guess is No. 3.
Would you really put it past Suarez to seek sympathy while simultaneously trying to force a move away from Anfield? I mean, this is a man who blamed the English press for being unfair despite being suspended in the past two seasons for racism and biting an opposing player.
It's as though he doesn't want Liverpool's fans to hate him for desperately wanting to abandon their favorite club. You can almost hear him think, Sure, I'm insulting Liverpool, but don't get mad about it. I have legitimate gripes.
No one gets to have their cake and eat it too. If he wants to chase Champions League football and doesn't believe Liverpool will ever give him the chance to do so, he should just come out and say it.
Don't blame the press. Don't passively tiptoe around a lack of faith in Liverpool's ambition. Don't try to play the victim.
At the end of the day, we shouldn't begrudge Suarez for wanting to take his career in a new direction. It's his right as a professional.
But he's also earned every criticism he's gotten, and his inability to accept that fact makes him an unsympathetic character. If he wants a transfer, he needs to accept that it will make him the villain to many fans out there.
And that will be the case no matter how many times he tries to change the reason for his transfer request.