Last summer, Arsenal famously made a bid of £1 over Luis Suarez's £40 million release clause at Liverpool, reportedly acting on the bad information that might be enough to sign him, as per Sam Wallace of the Independent.
The first point to make is why didn't they bid £20 million over it? Why didn't they go in with £60 million or even £70 or £80 million. It's not as if Suarez represented a risk of any kind. He is a proven Premier League star and would have delivered for Arsenal as he does for Liverpool.
We talk about Arsenal's fiscal sensibility and the notion that Arsene Wenger strives for value in the market, but if you can sign a player who can win you trophies and bring you success, surely that represents the most sensible type of business there is—even if you pay more than you want to.
I'm not saying Liverpool would definitely have sold, but their owner John Henry is a sensible businessman. If Arsenal had made a stunning initial offer, he would at least have considered it. I have a suspicion he would have taken it. Then it would have been left to Suarez to decide.
Had he said yes and Arsenal added Suarez to the summer purchase of Mesut Ozil, just imagine how different things might be right now.
Suarez's movement is so good and his work-rate so strong that he often looks as if he's covering two or three positions at once for Liverpool. He could play a number of roles for Arsenal—delivering his usual supply of goals combined with the kind of support play that makes Liverpool so dangerous going forward.
Moreover, the presence of Suarez would bring out the best in Ozil.
Right now, Arsenal have a target man in Olivier Giroud. With Theo Walcott out injured, there's nobody making runs in behind the back four for Ozil to pick out and, as a team, they seriously lack pace. Suarez would make those runs and he'd give Arsenal the cut and thrust they lack right now.
Would signing Suarez have won Arsenal the title? He wouldn't have been the last piece of the puzzle—Wenger needs players in other areas, too—but his signing would have been an unbelievably big piece. And it would have been a statement to the fans, also.
It would have been a statement just to make the offer, even if Liverpool or Suarez turned it down. Arsenal would have been saying they were in the game and ready to go bold in the transfer market—up against the biggest hitters, for the biggest players in the world.
Suarez would have thrived, and his energetic presence would have infected the Arsenal players around him. When you have somebody fighting that hard, it rubs off on his teammates.
Where's the risk in that? The answer is there isn't any. Which is exactly why Arsenal should have at least tested Liverpool with a generous offer last summer.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!