A phenomenal talent, the Uruguayan is arguably the most naturally gifted forward ever to don the famous red shirt, and it’s no surprise speculation of his future is beginning to mount.
Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard reported that Real Madrid are lining up a £70 million offer for the mercurial Suarez, which prompts the question of whether such a lucrative deal is worth taking for the Reds.
When the curtain dropped on Liverpool’s Premier League challenge at Selhurst Park at the back end of last season, one of the most striking images of the campaign emerged.
Suarez—who, per a BBC Sport report, had been begging to leave Anfield just months earlier—was crestfallen and heartbroken as the Reds’ dreams of silverware were crushed.
Though it was a touching moment and an apparent silent pledge of allegiance to Liverpool, selling Suarez wouldn’t be the worst bit of business Brendan Rodgers has ever done.
Parting with your best player is never advised, of course, but with such a staggering transfer fee on the line, Liverpool could build for the future to bring glory back Anfield on a long-term basis with the sale.
While last season was incredible for everyone associated with the club, much of the success was owed to the brilliance of Suarez, who scored 31 league goals and created 12 more, according to WhoScored.com.
That’s not to say Liverpool are a one-man team—far from it, in fact—but using £70 million to ensure that there’s a world-class asset at every turn for the Reds will see them stand a good chance of success back in the Champions League next term.
No disrespect to new signing Rickie Lambert, but the former Southampton man won’t be directly filling the boots of Suarez next season should he depart. However, what the 32-year-old can do is bring the best out of others.
Daniel Sturridge enjoyed a fruitful season on Merseyside in 2013/14, netting 21 times and grabbing seven assists for the Reds, according to WhoScored.com. Together with Lambert, he’d make up another fearsome partnership.
Though many will say Sturridge needed Suarez to perform for Liverpool, the statistics argue otherwise, with the Englishman picking up six goals in the seven matches he started without Suarez at the beginning of the season, per SoccerWay.
At 24 years of age, Sturridge has a few seasons to go before hitting his peak. One day, he could reach the dizzy heights of a Suarez-esque season.
In a case of taking a world-class striker to know a world-class striker, the Premier League’s highest-ever scorer, Alan Shearer, heaped praise on the England man and said he expects him to be at the top of his game for many a campaign, per Peter Edwards of the Express:
He has had a great season. He also feels at home at Liverpool which is probably why he is performing. He feels a big part of it now whereas at previous clubs he was a bit-part player. He likes running in behind making darting little runs and his movement in the box is very good and his goalscoring for Liverpool has been fantastic. I hope he can keep it up because if he does he could be around for a few years.
If Sturridge can show the kind of form that made him a star last season, then Liverpool already have a ready-made replacement for their hitman.
Just keeping the Englishman sweet with Suarez out of the picture won’t keep Liverpool firing on all cylinders, though, and Rodgers simply has to spend big if they’re to compete at the highest level next season.
Though the Reds have raw talent in the shape of Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and the newly acquired Emre Can, a few more big-money names funded by the Suarez kitty will see the good times undoubtedly return to Anfield.
It may well be heartbreaking for every Liverpool fan to say goodbye to Suarez, but with an intelligent manager like Rodgers and lots of pulling power at the club, only good things can come of it.