The enigma that is Luis Suarez has certainly presented a difficult challenge for Liverpool since his transfer from Ajax just over two and a half years ago. Brought in as Fernando Torres’ replacement, he came with a reputation as a genius with flair and finesse in the final third, that was a throwback to the days of “King” Kenny Dalglish. He has certainly delivered, becoming the club’s top goal-scorer over the past two seasons.
Like many genius’ he also came with a reputation for being a fierce competitor and is certainly a controversial character. The biting of a fellow professional’s neck in the Dutch league and (going back to when he was just eleven years old) when he head-butt an official in Uruguay are among some of the charges he has gained on his rap sheet. More controversy has followed through the racial charge leveled at him by Patrice Evra, in which the FA decided to ban him for up to eight games and fine him a significant sum. Most recently, he chomped his canines into Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, leading to a ten game ban.
His interviews are nothing short of dramatic, often speaking openly of his desire to dive and win penalties for the team. Now the ultimate kick in the teeth for Liverpool fans has come in the last fortnight, with him openly admitting his desire to leave the English game because of how “the media judge me as a person and not my football ability”. He even cited how he has to protect his wife and daughter from the public scrutiny they apparently receive.
Despite these comments, he has on more than one occasion stated he is happy at the club and will remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future. Just a day after his initial outburst, his agent told reporters Suarez was indeed staying. Many Liverpool fans felt there was hope that he could be swayed, but he reiterated his desire to leave, much to the disappointment and frustration of Liverpool fans.
Suarez has attracted the attention of Real Madrid, speaking of how “wonderful it would be to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo” and what a great team they are. Yet he is weary that no concrete offer has been made and often toes the line stating “Liverpool is a team I dreamed of playing for as a kid, the stadium is spectacular and the fans are great,” though he seems to haved replaced ‘Liverpool’ with ‘Real Madrid’ or ‘Barcelona’ recently.
Liverpool have been firm in their stance regarding Luis. Rightfully so, considering he signed a new and improved contract at the end of last summer, which has four years remaining on it. Suarez is yet to hand in a transfer request, so there may be a glimmer of hope for Liverpool fans yet, albeit remote. If Suarez does leave, a gaping hole will be left up front, but similar fears were raiset when Fernando Torres when he departed in acrimonious circumstances.
Sturridge since he’s arrived has been a breath of fresh air and taken many by surprise. By combining his finishing quality with intelligent movement and electrifying pace, he has adequately filled the role of a lone striker. With more game time and support, he can go from strength to strength with the addition of new signings to help bolster options in the final third.
Imagining life without Luis Suarez would be terrible to many Liverpool fans. But we need only look at the positives. His sale will command an invaluable fee ranging between £40-50m. A transfer kitty of £20m already exists and will be further boosted by the departures of Andy Carroll and the deadwood at the club. Releasing Suarez will enable Rodgers to bring in more quality in several positions, reinforcing the depth of the squad and enabling it to challenge for Champions League positions next year.
Through amalgamating the team Rodgers can focus on an elite core of players and improve those knowing Suarez won’t be around to embroil the club in more disastrous public relation campaigns. In other words, Suarez departing is not the be-all-and-end-all for Liverpool.
Michael Owen left, as did Fernando Torres and the club survived. Liverpool will continue their quest back towards the Champions League. If it’s with Luis Suarez then great, if not, then the club will continue to make strides via more shrewd signings like that of Coutinho and Sturridge. The club is bigger than any player, especially whining little cry-babies like Luis.
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