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Why Liverpool Must Sell Luis Suarez
With the future of Luis Suarez filling the back pages in recent days, Liverpool fan Shane Clancy gives us his thoughts on why he feels it’s time Liverpool sold the controversial Uruguayan striker.
How things change
Three months ago, the thought of Liverpool losing their Uruguayan maestro would not have sat well with me. Suarez was playing the best football of his career – yes, he displayed his tremendous skill and potential at Ajax before coming to Anfield – but here he was performing consistently at the highest level he had ever played at. He had shown that he was able for the step up from the Eredivisie to the English Premier League. Some notable names have not coped with this transition in their careers; Mateja Kezman and Ryan Babel, to name just a couple.
The man’s talent was immediately evident, scoring as a second-half substitute on his debut at Anfield against Stoke in early 2011. His incredible close control and “head-down, one thing on his mind” direct style had the Liverpool fans on their feet anytime he received the ball around the eighteen-yard box. Not many players on the world stage can instill that type of belief and excitement in the fans. It’s a fantastic gift to be able to receive the ball and make people immediately think that something special is about to happen.
Liverpool knew Suarez came with risks; they were willing to take him in as another flawed genius. We all love the imperfections in our heroes.
Over the last few days I’ve heard it said that he has “dragged the Liverpool name through the gutter”. I would feel strongly about that if I felt it to be true, if what I saw was a player intentionally disregarding the club and its fans. I don’t – I see a player who has never learned to control those childish needs to never lose, that “street-kid” who just wants the ball, all the time. Correct – the club reputation has taken a hit because of Suarez, it could just never be considered intentional on his part.
At the moment Suarez seems to have absolutely no control over his instinctual reactions on the pitch. This is not a cop-out or a defence of the player. He needs to manage his temperament like every other professional athlete. Wherever Suarez spends the rest of his career, be it Anfield or abroad, the outbursts need to stop.
Why he must be sold
From Liverpool’s viewpoint, however, I feel he must be sold this summer. The following are my reasons:
Peak of his career – as touched upon earlier Suarez has just completed the best season of his career, at the highest level. Liverpool must capitalise on this and recoup the highest possible amount while Suarez’s brilliance is fresh in everyone’s minds.
He is an extremely emotional, passionate footballer. This makes him the player that he is. In the wake of his recent comments about wanting to leave this summer the following must be noted. There is no way Suarez would be one hundred percent invested in the club next season if he is kept against his will. A passionate player without the passion will perform at possibly only sixty to seventy percent of his abilities, depending on the circumstances. Liverpool can not hold on to Suarez for another year only to see a dramatic dip in his form. This will impact drastically on his transfer value, resulting in Suarez being sold off next summer for a fee considerably less than what we may receive this summer. More importantly, an unhappy and underperforming star striker would have a very negative effect on squad morale.
LFC transfer policy – a sale now would fit perfectly with Liverpool’s transfer policy that has been spoken of since Damien Comolli left the club. Liverpool is set to make a significant profit on their £23 million investment if Suarez is sold this year. This profit may then be used to bring in more young, hungry talent in fitting with Rodgers’ system – and thus the cycle continues.
Rodgers is well aware that the club is still smarting from the £35 million it spent on Andy Carroll on the same day that Suarez signed. A large sale such as that of Suarez would go a long way to strengthening Liverpool’s squad overall with the signings that may be possible in the immediate aftermath. Also, with Carroll likely to leave this summer for around £12 million another profit-making transaction would take the spotlight off the loss made on the Carroll deal. Selling Suarez now basically makes good business sense.
The Club comes first – we are all familiar with the saying “no player is bigger than the club”, but some management teams have difficulty applying this ethos. Brendan Rodgers must be worried that over the last year the media circus surrounding Suarez has made him the face of Liverpool Football Club. Whether Suarez likes it or not he needs to realise that when he brings trouble on himself, he brings it on his club.
From a PR point of view, Liverpool’s reputation has nosedived since the “racism” episode with Patrice Evra (lets not even get into that right now). The Ivanovic biting incident only added fuel to the fire. Rodgers now needs to build a squad where no fish is too big for its pond. The first step is to sell Suarez and get Liverpool making headlines again for the right reason – success on the pitch.
Until we meet again, Luis
There is no doubt we are going to be watching Luis Suarez gracing the Champions League and hopefully the International stage over the coming years. What we must hope is that this unique footballing talent grows up and manages to cut out the reactions on the pitch. Part of being a professional is learning how to remain disciplined even when things aren’t going your way. If any manager can help Suarez to lose the ill-discipline but keep his passion then he has the potential to be even better.
For Liverpool fans however, I think that ship has sailed. Suarez must be sold, now.
What do you think? Get involved in the comments below.