Arsenal bids 40,00,001 pounds for Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Louis Suarez. Why the weird number? Apparently, by bidding 40,00,001 pounds, Liverpool is obliged to let Suarez know of the club that’s interested in his services. You might wonder why Wenger is ready to spend that much money on a player whose reputation is tainted by multiple incidents of racism, blatant diving and biting opponents. Wenger has always been a stickler for discipline. There were many who questioned his decision to sell Alexandre Song to Barcelona when there were 3 years left in his contract. Arseblog quoted an articlein the Mirror that a training ground spat with Steve Bould was the reason that he was shipped to Barca. So, assuming that this is true, why would we be ready to spend all our money on such a disciplinary liability?
Arsenal fans did not hold back when the Suarez-Evra incident happened. You almost felt bad for the Liverpool fans that became South American linguists overnight to explain the nature of the exchange that happened between them. For a detailed report on the Suarez-Evra incident, look here.
There are some who argue that the biting incident is him engineering a move away from Liverpool as he did the same while at Ajax. What surety do we have that he won’t do the same again? His handball during the world cup quarterfinal against Ghana may have gotten Uruguay to the semi final, but is that in anyway excusable? What about his prolific diving? One can argue that everybody dives in modern day football, but Arsenal is not like every other club. Jenkinson’s dive against Chelsea last season is something that I hope won’t be repeated. You rarely ever find an Arsenal player doing something like that.
Now, keeping his behaviour aside, what about his qualities as a footballer? Not many will question that aspect as he’s a quality goalscorer and plays his heart out to win matches. But then again, 7amkickoff did this comparison between Suarez and our other potential buy, Gonzalo Higuain.
Source: 7am kickoff
The stats give the impression that Suarez wastes possession and shots on goal. To be fair to him, he is playing for a team that has rapidly lost quality over the past several years. There were several instances last year where he was the only goalscorer on the pitch and he was forced to take half shots as there was no one ahead of him. The arrival of Sturridge during January eased the burden. Higuain on the other hand didn’t get as many matches as he deserved to get under Mourinho which is the main reason why he wants to leave Real Madrid. Considering he has one of the best conversion rates in the world of football, he will definitely be the striker that does not fluff chances. Ever since Henry’s departure, Arsenal have not found a striker who is dependable in front of goal except for a brief period when Robin Van Persie fulfilled that role. Given that Higuain’s brother/agent himself stated that Gonzalo is suited for Arsenal’s style of play, the only reason I see for the deal not to materialize yet is the delayed arrival of a new manager at Madrid and also his reluctance to sell a quality player when he has 3 years left in his contract.
But why would Arsenal still prefer Suarez instead of topping the previous offer for Higuain? Here’s my twisted logic. There’s no reason why Suarez would want to play in the English league if the Liverpool wantaway’s main concern is the lack of support from the fans. If Higuain prefers regular football at Arsenal over intermittent appearances for Madrid, he could make a move. But for that to happen, Madrid has to be convinced that they have a good replacement at hand. Now why did Arsenal only offer 40,00,001 pounds if we knew that Liverpool does not intend to sell Suarez? Maybe Wenger wanted to show that a lower bid than the Liverpool valuation of 55 million pounds would enable Madrid to turn their attention towards Suarez. If this is so, at the expense of Liverpool, both Real Madrid and Arsenal could end up with their preferred deals assuming that Madrid is ready to cough up 55 million.
Or the straightforward reason would be that Wenger thinks he can fix Suarez. That’s what Soccernomics or Moneyball would tell us. But then the Suarez deal would only be sensible if his transfer valuation is much lower than his qualities as a footballer due to his indiscipline.
As of now, like the previous 16 transfer windows, being an Arsenal fan is the worst thing in football.