Waving goodbye to Liverpool: but should Suarez join Arsenal?
It is understandable that want-away Liverpool front man Luis Suarez wishes to leave Anfield this summer in search of silverware and Champions League football. However, the Uruguayan will be making a terrible career choice by opting to move to Arsenal.
Initially, Suarez claimed that it was the over-the-top intrusion by the English media that had forced him to consider his future on Merseyside and seek a move elsewhere this summer.
“Without any proof they gave me an eight-match ban. But with [John] Terry, where they had proof, lip-readers, they gave him four. I'm South American and I think that's the root of all of this,” said the 26-year-old back in June when representing his country at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, per The Guardian.
“Liverpool is a club that I dreamt about playing for as a boy. I have been with great players there, they know me and I would love to continue for many more years at Liverpool. The stadium is spectacular, the fans are phenomenal: people with tattoos of me, things that I could never have imagined," he told RR Gol (h/t Daily Mail).
“About a week ago I was walking in a shopping centre near Manchester and three or four guys asked me for a photo. While we were posing for it my wife said to me: 'Luis, get out of the photo.' She noticed they were making biting gestures. I was with my wife and my daughter. Things like that get on your nerves. My wife was on the brink of tears and the blokes ran off laughing. You get tired of stuff like that.”
And yet, just a month later and the attacker had a very different tale to tell about why he was seeking a transfer away from the Reds in the summer window, with Suarez now claiming that he was leaving in search of trophies and the thrill of playing in Europe’s premier club competition.
"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,” said Suarez on this occasion, per Sky Sports.
"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.”
Either way, the fact of the matter is that the mercurial, but world-class, striker no longer wants to wear the red of Liverpool, whatever his true reasons.
And that is fine, with players in the modern era far less likely now to remain at one club for any lengthy period of time, as was their wont before the advent of television and all the money that subsequently rolled into the game.
As in any other profession, Suarez should not be castigated for what he calls wanting “to progress and improve," with footballers’ careers at the top level these days lasting only so long.
And lets’ face it, you will not find too many punters out there willing to put their house on Brendan Rodgers managing to guide the Reds back into the UEFA Champions League come next May either, although with Suarez leading the line, you would not rule it out.
Suarez has given Liverpool loyal service throughout the past two seasons, always giving his absolute best, even on a cold December night at Stoke City.
He could have quite easily dropped his commitment level just a smidgen upon the obvious realisation that Liverpool would not be competing for the title, or even for a top-four Premier League finish, in either of the two campaigns he has been in England so far.
But no, that is not the man’s style, and he should be applauded for that too, whatever one’s opinions about his other on-pitch misdemeanours are.
However, Suarez has been linked with some of the Continent’s most prestigious and successful teams so far this summer, whether that be Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich or Chelsea—this according to the Daily Star, Sky Sports, The Sun and Express, respectively.
Oh, and Arsenal too, as detailed by BBC Sport.
Those first four club are all recent league title winners in their own respective leagues, as well as sides that like to progress far in the Champions League.
Arsenal, on the other hand, lest they and their long-suffering fans need reminding, have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005, while their Champions League record since manager Arsene Wenger arrived in north London 17 years ago is underwhelming, to say the very least, considering just how many times they have entered the competition.
Surely, rather than jumping straight into bed with the first available suitor, the Uruguay attacker would be best advised to bide his time a little to fully explore all his options, especially given the fact that one of those clubs said to be most keen on securing his services this summer, Madrid, have just offloaded a striker themselves while banking £34.5 million in the process.
And this is los Blancos we are talking about here, the nine-time European champions and biggest club in the world, a view endorsed by former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness, who told Sky Sports News, “"I would fully understand it if Real Madrid came knocking and he really dug his heels in and said he'd got to go because it's a chance to go back to a Latin country."
"Real Madrid are, right now, arguably the biggest club in the world and that I could understand and live with that.”
Indeed, Suarez is young enough that he could even wait a year if necessary before leaving Liverpool, when he may be in receipt of more lucrative offers, while his place up front for Uruguay at next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil would not come under threat were he to remain at Anfield.
Should Suarez sign for Arsenal?
Meanwhile, who is to say that the Gunners will even be competing in next season’s Champions League, following their struggles to qualify for the competition via the playoffs last August?
However, with Wenger still to make that promised marquee signing this summer, despite the £70 million war chest reported by The Guardian at his disposal, you could actually make a stronger argument for Rodgers’ side finishing above Arsenal next season with Suarez up front.
And so Liverpool’s unsettled front man would be well advised to just take stock for a moment and remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side before deciding to swap the Reds for the Gunners next season.