This summer has been one of the strangest transfer windows that I can remember. The fact that there are still huge stars on the market makes it truly out of the ordinary.
From the mess that is Liverpool and Luis Suarez to the wildly increasing price of Gareth Bale, the transfer market has come to a crossroads. With some of the biggest names in the world still available, teams still have the opportunity to vastly improve before the season starts.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest names in the world and what teams should do with these prized players.
Real Madrid: Deny Bale
Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world, but is he worth the unheard of price tag that is rumored?
No. At least not for what Real Madrid needs. Bale is a player who has thrived on creating his own opportunities and taking all of his team's free-kicks.
Real Madrid already has that player in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has been the most important player at Madrid since he arrived in 2009. I doubt he would like someone coming in on a record transfer deal (likely breaking Ronaldo's record) taking some of his fame and, on top of that, taking his free-kicks.
Bale undeniably has talent, but he only had one great year at Tottenham. Last season Bale lit it up while scoring 21 Premier League goals, but before that, he wasn't too successful. Before the 2012/2013 campaign, he scored a total of 21 Premier League goals.
It clearly took Bale a while to adjust to the difficult play of the Premier League. If it takes him that long to adjust again, the likely record-breaking transfer won't be worth it.
Real Madrid already purchased Isco and Jese this offseason, two players who play very similar positions to Bale. For the talent that Real Madrid already has, it would be much better to stay away from Bale than bring him on.
Chelsea: Buy Rooney
I’ve been back and forth on Rooney for the entire transfer window, but what I keep coming back to is that he is undeniably a great player. His ability as both a No. 9 and No. 10, meaning the primary goal scorer and the playmaker, make him a worthy target for a team that has had trouble scoring goals in the past.
Many overlook Rooney’s talent because of his aging look, but the 27-year-old striker simply falls victim to the fact that he has played professionally since 2002. Rooney still has at least one good contract ahead of him before his eventual decline.
Manchester United and Rooney’s relationship is really strained after he saw the bench for a good portion of last season. With Robin Van Persie’s emergence as one of the best strikers in the Premiere League, Rooney has no place as a No. 9 on United.
Chelsea has plenty of options at striker, but they don’t have one that can take them to a Premier League championship.
Demba Ba is a great young striker, but he only scored two goals in his 13 games at Stamford Bridge. Fernando Torres is past the point where he can dominate week in and week out (besides when he plays Tahiti). Andre Schurrle is a good summer signing, but he is more of a secondary striker.
And last but not least, many fans will be calling for Romelu Lukaku to hit the field for the Blues this year. However, the 20-year-old Belgian needs another year preparing for a Champions League level team.
Rooney would provide a perfect short-term answer for Chelsea at striker, as long as they can pry him from David Moyes’ hands.
Barcelona: Buy David Luiz
Chelsea defender David Luiz is one of the most intriguing defenders in the world right now. At times he looks world-class in his ability to move up the field, but at others he looks lost and confused as a defender.
According to the Guardian, Chelsea instantly turned down the £35m offer from Barcelona. While the money might not be there yet, the move is good for both sides.
Chelsea has been very undecided on Luiz for the last year now. Often times the fans at Stamford Bridge love Luiz's insane work ethic and ability to move all over the field, but at other times they loathe his style.
Last season, Chelsea fans loved to hate Luiz. He made his fair share of mistakes, but he was often the scapegoat for a mistake-prone defense.
Luiz would have a much different role at Barcelona. He would be playing with a great defender in Gerard Pique, so his mistakes would be less of a burden. Carles Puyol still has a few years left in him, so he could learn some valuable knowledge from two of Spain's best defenders.
This deal makes sense for both sides, as long as the price is right for Chelsea. Luiz is exactly the type of player Barcelona could use.
Liverpool: Sell Suarez
Enough is enough.
Liverpool needs to stop messing around and sell their prized possession. Reports from The Guardian and The Telegraph say that Suarez was promised to be playing on a Champions League club next season if Liverpool didn’t qualify. As of right now, Liverpool is breaking that promise.
With the knowledge we have right now of the Suarez situation, what is the point of Liverpool and owner John Henry keeping him?
From a personnel standpoint, this looks really bad for Liverpool. If Suarez did make this agreement with his club, they have to stand by it. Holding on to an extremely upset Suarez would set a bad precedent for the Liverpool's business reputation in the future.
There needs to be a mutual trust between the club and the player. This saga will continue to hurt Liverpool in the future because no one will want to sign with such a dishonest club.
Suarez is definitely one of the premier strikers in the league, but it isn’t worth keeping a forward who isn’t happy about his situation. Suarez acted out on numerous occasions when he was content at Anfield; it would be very interesting to see how he would act when he was thoroughly unhappy.
Whether he goes to Arsenal or Real Madrid, Suarez needs to go as soon as possible. Liverpool needs to save face and move on from this nightmare situation.
*All stats courtesy of ESPN