Luis Suarez is a name that British football fans have become used to seeing on newspapers and football websites over the last year or so, whether for reasons good or bad. Not one to shy away from the headlines, Suarez has been constantly linked to a move away from Anfield in a bid for Champions League football with Arsenal and Real Madrid being the two clubs leading the way for the Uruguayan. However, Liverpool owner John Henry has repeated his firm stance on several occasions that their star man will be going nowhere this season, but with Suarez pining for a move elsewhere; can an amicable agreement be reached?
Liverpool is a club in transition; once a top four team not so long ago, they slumped to 7th placed finish last season, missing out on any form of European football. Brendan Rogers is trying to establish an attacking and attractive brand of football onto the red half of Merseyside, but it seems that for every one step forward it was two steps back with humbling defeats to the likes of West Brom, Stoke and Southampton showing their inability to compete with the top domestic clubs and a lacklustre outing in the Europa League only reinforced their lack of quality. Suarez has undoubtedly been Liverpool’s shining star in an otherwise forgettable season, bagging himself 23 goals in the League and 7 more elsewhere.
Yet Suarez comes with baggage; the racism incident involving Evra and his bite on Ivanovic highlight his volatile temperament yet throughout all of this, Liverpool have stuck by their man and now, in return, they want loyalty from Suarez at least for the upcoming season. Liverpool fans feel they have been conned, and it seems a distinct divide has emerged within Liverpool fans of those who are calling for Suarez to stay, and those who want him sold. It seems everyone has been pitching in their view on the matter, with Uruguayan team-mate Edinson Cavani telling Brendan Rogers to look up the definition of loyalty in the dictionary and let Suarez leave for pastures new!
The Suarez saga has been drawn out over the course of this summer and looks set to continue, with Arsenal having their bid of £40m rejected showing just how reluctant Henry is to selling Suarez, yet particularly because they see the North London outfit as a challenger to a top four spot so are reluctant to sell to a competitor. The other option is Suarez’s preferred choice of club, Real Madrid, yet they have not put in a concrete offer for the striker as their pursuit of Bale remains top of the agenda. The transfer merry-go-round is yet to really kick off, and it seems that perhaps one deal could spark a flurry as we head towards the final two weeks.
Brendan Rogers has spoken of his desire to keep their star striker, and how he must accept his stay at Anfield this season and apologise to Liverpool fans for threatening to hand in a written transfer request and taking legal action against the club if the dispute is not settled, yet Suarez refuses to acknowledge he has done any wrong, claiming the club promised him a move away this summer if the Champions League was not reached. With every day, it seems a new twist is unfolding, which is helping to create a rift between himself and the club.
The situation echoes of the Robin van Persie saga of last summer, as Arsenal did not have the financial backing to bring in the big names to become a force to challenge for the title, and although Arsenal were unwilling to sell their talisman, they realised that having an unhappy player would only hinder them so had to sell, and the same pattern seems to be emerging at Anfield. Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for Liverpool in Sturridge, who bagged himself 11 goals between January and May, showing that the club can compete without Suarez. Move for other players such as Diego Costa could earmark an exit for Suarez too.
Every player has their price, and the old anecdote that no man is bigger than the club will surely apply as Liverpool will not want a player who isn’t committed to the cause and will spread discontent among their squad. It seems Liverpool must accept that their prodigious talent cannot be contained at a club which looks destined to mid-table mediocrity.