Two years ago, Liverpool made the ‘un-rosy’ conundrum of Fernando Torres a bigger headache than they should have. For days, Chelsea and other top clubs were in the market to lure the Spanish striker away from Anfield. But a game of ‘cat and mouse’ ensued, and the victors happened to be those from Stamford Bridge.
What was inflicted upon Liverpool was worse than the club expected. They not only lost out on a star striker but faltered on replacing him with a concrete No. 9. In came Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll – the latter who was dubbed by many to don the boots left behind by Torres.
While Suarez (bar his ludicrous antics) has managed to salvage some pride from that transfer window for a mellowed Liverpool, Carroll was anything but a savvy transfer. This summer, Liverpool sold the latter for approximately 15 million pounds – a gargantuan cataclysm to the 35 million pounds shelled out for him.
Fast forward to present day and Liverpool are dealing with yet another transfer coup. This time from Luis Suarez, a wantaway striker who’s impact at the Merseyside club could be eloquently described. Having made it public that he is adamant to leave Liverpool and move to “greener pastures” of European club football, the Uruguayan has been the kernel of heated debates.
For a while, the question what many of us have been asking is if Brendan Rodgers should keep him at Liverpool or not?
While we can derive a conjecture on it but for a concretion, the answer to that question is ultimately in Rodgers’s and Suarez’s hands. Thereby, if anything like a pact has to be agreed upon this disharmony prevailing at the club; it has to be done now and not later.
For over two months, the media has reported about the striker’s unhappiness to stay at Anfield. Day in and day out, the club’s fans like me have been at the mercy of Suarez’s stymie. He continues to crib to the world about his and his family’s distaste in living in England. As time continues to fly by in this summer’s transfer window, it is evident that Liverpool has to come to consensus to seal this predicament, at least for many of the club’s loyal fans across the world.
It is also foreseeable that Brendan Rodgers is going to find it significantly harder to persuade Luis Suarez to stay than it is for the club to cash on what could be a remunerative transfer deal. If we have to go by recent speculation, Liverpool could make at least 40 million pounds off Suarez’s transfer, which in my opinion, is sufficient enough money to buy a quality player or two.
It also matters if Liverpool actually need the player to stay for the abominable dirt his controversies have added to the club’s image. First was his racism row, and then came his tawdry dives on the pitch. Finally, in May against Chelsea, he rightfully quantified the ban handed to him for biting Branislav Ivanovic. Does Liverpool actually need to have such a mess amidst its squad? Quite decorously – NOT!
There are other issues that need to be on top of the management’s heads. Liverpool’s recent history in sealing transfer deals isn’t exactly bright. This summer, the club lost out on bagging Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s signature and in 2012, the debacles involved in snagging Clint Dempsey and Glyfi Sigurdsson coveted enough headlines.
If Suarez is to leave a couple of weeks before the deadline ends, the greater probability is that the management may not even have suitable talents to choose from. Players are avowing in hurry to sign for clubs in the Champions League and Liverpool’s inability to feature prominently in Europe could deeply hurt any chance the club has in landing last minute pursuits.
If a replacement is being sought out in the coming days than in August, the odds are that Brendan Rodgers can find a striker with as much or near to the calibre of Luis Suarez. The player could even adapt to the club’s formation and tactics with adequate game time during pre-season friendlies. But as the clock keeps ticking, Liverpool just might have to resort to playing with the likes of Iago Aspas, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Alberto – none within the behemoth of Luis Suarez’s dexterity.
Rodgers will further learn how the club’s fortunes in the transfer markets at the beginning of this decade were appalling. That is something the manager has to seriously ponder over, considering Liverpool’s summer transfer budgets then were backed with as much influx of cash as there is now. Those transfers too, happened in late July or early August just about when this Luis Suarez saga seems to end.
A crucial difference between the ill-fated transfers then, than the current hunt to find Luis Suarez’s replacement will be the indelible void left behind by the Uruguayan. It can be argued that once Xabi Alonso left the Reds, they eventuated into a downfall and the Mascherano transfer only aggravated the plight.
But if Luis Suarez were to leave Liverpool this summer, the club’s management will need to search as astutely as possible and with perhaps more vigour to land an appropriate replacement. Alonso at his peak was a midfielder having boundless panache and Javier Mascherano’s presence on the turf helped Steven Gerrard flourish in the No. 10 role.
Luis Suarez, however, is in the hem of being a top 5 player in the world today. More importantly, the Reds are beginning to work on their ascent back into the EPL’s elite and losing him would unquestionably halter the progress. This, in retrospect, could hurt the club and its players, more psychologically than financially – perhaps as much if not more than the club did by letting go of Alonso or Mascherano.
Only a loyal football fan knows what it means to staunchly believe that the club is greater than the player. For the past several weeks, Luis Suarez has proven himself to be the opposite. Withal, if he stays, he will have a massive job of regaining the fan’s respect but for now, his heart lies elsewhere. And if Liverpool wants to make the final call like they always fancy themselves to, they better do it sooner than later.