Luis Suarez And The Point of No Return: Why Liverpool Must Sell The Troubled Striker
As the saga of Luis Suarez continues to dominate headlines, writer Tom Gatehouse looks at the key reasons for Liverpool to cut loose their distressed striker
As the saga of Luis Suarez continues to dominate headlines, writer Tom Gatehouse looks at the key reasons for Liverpool to cut loose their distressed striker.
It has been clear for some time that Luis Suarez yearns for a transfer away from Liverpool. This much can be gleaned from the quite poignant remarks he has made over the past few months, spanning from the subtle to the downright blunt. The transfer saga centred around the Uruguayan has evolved into one of persistent frustration for both the club and the player.
Suarez told the Guardian and Daily Telegraph earlier this month that Liverpool had “promised” that he could leave this summer, if they did not qualify for the Champions League.
“I gave absolutely everything last season. Now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement,” he said.
“Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I’d be allowed to go.”
The sheer talent of the striker has permitted a continuing patience from the club; a patience that has arguably been pushed to its limits many times during his stay, thanks to some heinous moments of ill-judgement from the player.
However, amidst the negativity surrounding this protracted narrative, there are genuine reasons for Liverpool to let their star man depart. Granted, the loss of such a fine striker can never really be fully stomached, especially to a rival such as Arsenal; but as the energy around the club is further sapped by Suarez’ embittered words and actions, fans and boardroom hierarchy alike must be beginning to see the logic of showing the player the door he so vociferously craves.
Luis Suarez was himself, a replacement for an ‘irreplaceable’ player
Cast your mind back to the January transfer window of 2011. There you will see the transfer saga of an indomitable striker, primed for absolute glory at Anfield after a goal-ridden season, with stardom achieved through a magnificent ability.
Fernando Torres was the king back then, and his £50m move to bitter rivals Chelsea was a moment seared into the mind of every Liverpool fan, the world over.
Andy Carroll was hastily snapped up as a reactionary transfer, while Luis Suarez, brought in to actually play in tandem with Torres, joined the England man as a respite to the pain of losing one of the most deadly strikers in the world. While Carroll may have failed to live up to expectations, Suarez has done brilliantly in erasing the unpleasant memory of Torres’ departure.
Suarez himself can be replaced, as Torres has been; but the clock is ticking, and if a replacement is to be found, the sale of Luis Suarez needs to happen soon. An enormous fee can be commanded for the Uruguayan, with which Liverpool can subsequently spend to secure a player of international pedigree, and formidable goal-scoring prowess.
But with so many of the world’s most feared strikers already bedded in at new-found destinations, the pool of potentially available talent is slowly diminishing. Liverpool must act fast.
Luis Suarez has, for some time, been a malignant presence at the club
Football fans are a tough lot, but something that always grinds their gears, regardless of the club they support, is a lack of dignity and an absence of perceived loyalty.
While it is unreasonable to expect every player to remain at the same club for his entire career, it is feasible to expect a certain degree of respect for a club, regardless of circumstance.
Liverpool boss, Brendan Rogers, follows these sentiments, and believes that Suarez should apologise to the club for the way he has acted during the bitter saga,
“Initially there will be a recognition that [there needs to be] an apology to his team-mates and the club,” said Rodgers when asked what the striker needs to do next.
“I have seen him over a period of time. I know it is not the Luis Suarez we know and I have to protect the fans and the players because they deserve more than that” Rodgers told Sky Sports
While a player cannot be made to stay happy, and regardless of his current state of mind, Suarez’ reportedly lacklustre attitude in training, and indifferent standards during this situation makes a mockery of the quite stunning show of loyalty from the Anfield faithful, his teammates, and the club as a whole. Suarez’ apparent refusal to entertain the notion of an apology only serves to further wreck the already rapidly decaying bridge between the player and the club.
No one player is bigger than a football club, and the last of a great many straws must surely be about to be discarded by the club over the player, which will leave very little room for a full reconciliation with their eccentric, highly troubled striker.
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