22 Feb 2016

Transfer Truth: 'World-class' boss admits he was desperate to 'sign' £65m Liverpool hero

In the summer of 2013, Arsenal made a highly publicised (and widely derided) £40m bid for ex-Red Luis Suarez, but FSG rejected the offer, which included a cheeky extra £1 designed to activate the Uruguayan's release clause. Suarez ended up signing for Barcelona, and ahead of the Arsenal's Champions League match with Barca this week, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he's experienced regret over missing out on Suarez.

In his pre-match press conference, Wenger - recently hailed by Jurgen Klopp as 'world-class' - told reporters:

"I used to think 'what if I signed Luis Suarez'. He gives camaraderie to a team. He did it at Liverpool. He's the kind of guy creates that spirit in teams".

I was highly critical of Suarez during his time at Liverpool (and for good reason), but I've always acknowledged his football genius, and right now, he's arguably the world's most effective player (in his position).

Suarez caused massive problems for Liverpool, and was deservedly punished for various indiscretions, but as Wenger suggests, his charisma and never-say-die attitude on the field are invaluable, and those qualities simply don't exist at LFC anymore.

Suarez at Arsenal doesn't bear thinking about; it's the stuff of nightmares, and with the extra 30-40 goals/assists per season he'd provide (a conservative estimate), the Gunners would be winning the title every year. That said, I'm a huge fan of Arsene Wenger, and I'd rather see Arsenal win the title every year over the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, and Man City.

Ultimately, I'm glad Suarez signed for Barcelona. The move provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for three of the world's best players to strut their stuff together, which, in turn, serves as a pleasurable (albeit brief) panacea for the pain of watching football being destroyed by cheating, corruption, and greed.

Suarez, Messi, and Neymar are not perfect by any means, nor are they paragons of footballing virtue; they are, however, wondrous, exultant proponents of the beautiful game, and long may it continue.

Author: Jaimie K


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