I cannot believe Arsenal continue to be linked with Luis Suarez. Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker is a great footballer and would fit into Arsenal really well. He could play alone up-front, behind a big striker as our shadow striker or in a fluid-three in attack. Suarez has got drive and stamina, great first touch and he is a good passer of the ball, he has an eye for an assist and is very, very attack-minded. His goal scoring record is simply fantastic: he scored 81 goals in 110 Eredivisie games for Ajax and 38 in 77 PL games for Liverpool, with 23 in just 33 games during last season.
We could play him in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-1-3 formation, and no doubt it would make us stronger up-front. Arsenal could continue with Giroud as our ‘holding striker’ – the pivot – upfront and the likes of Santi, Theo and Cazorla could form an awesome, fluid and multi-facetted attacking force around him. With Gervinho, Pod and Ox, Arsenal have three more attackers with whom Suarez could form very effective attacking partnerships in the above mentioned formations.
Arsenal could look like this:
But we all know that Suarez, the person, can be described as somewhere between a complex and unstable character. His repeated racist abuse of Evra, for which he was rightly severely punished, and bites into footballers’ body parts tell us he struggles with controlling himself on the pitch.
It is not extremely likely Suarez will make racist remarks on or off the pitch again, as he will have learned his lesson now, even though I don’t think he has much, if any, regrets about what he did. The latter will unlikely fit well with the club’s strong focus on inclusion and equality, on and off the pitch and in the community.
Suarez’s bite into Ivanovic’s arm this season was not without precedent, as he did the same to Otman Bakkal of PSV Eindhoven (shoulder) at the end of 2010. Clearly, Suarez is a player who sometimes suffers from red mist in front of him, leading to almost inexplicable behaviour which gets him, and the club he plays for, into enormous trouble.
I am a big believer that people, and that includes relatively life-inexperienced footballers, can better themselves and move upwards and onwards. But do we want a player who has shown little or no regret for his racist remarks against Evra and who continuous to perform vile, unacceptable conducts against opposition players at our club?
Under the guidance of Wenger and Bould (and maybe Dennis at some point 😛 ), there is a chance that Suarez would settle down a bit and only let his footie do the talking. But it is a big risk to take. The Uruguayan would cost Arsenal at least £35m and that excludes the big wages we would have to pay.
There remains a decent chance that Suarez will behave very badly again, and one more incident could be the final straw for his football career in England, and possibly the rest of Europe. He could bite an opposing player again, or one of our own players or a supporter. He could intentionally break another player’s leg, or head-butt a player or fan. And what if he gets involved in racial abuse, on or off the pitch, again?
Our club’s image would be tarnished and we could be stuck with an untenable situation and an unsalable player, which would come at a huge cost – in more than one sense.
I really cannot see Wenger being seriously interested in Suarez. It took him a long time to get rid of troublesome, disruptive players like Adebayor, Bendtner (still not gone), Nasri etc, and he has clearly been recruiting a different type of player (professional, well-behaved, highly driven and focussed) in the last couple of years.
Let’s hope Arsenal’s recent bid(s) for the Uruguayan are part of a wider strategy aimed at getting another key transfer target.
I say this, though, with some regret, as we can all see he would add great quality to our attack. But sometimes, we need to ignore the belly and listen to our hearts and brains. Suarez does not fit our values and he would be a big liability for the club. Some might say it is worth the gamble, but I beg to differ.
Written by: TotalArsenal.