It was a heated debate back in the summer, one which stepped well over the mark a number of times due to the hostility that is generated by Suarez’s name. It was put to bed, fortunately. Sometimes you have to look a little further than just the qualities of a footballer. Half of the Arsenal support rejoiced; they wouldn’t have to see him in their colours. The other half saw it as a golden opportunity missed.
I didn’t see much sense in it. Going immediately to the starting point, why would Liverpool want to sell to Arsenal? They’re certainly glad they didn’t. Would they have been second in the Premier League if they had? What about the gap Arsenal would have created between themselves and second place?
And then there’s the reintroduction of whether fans want to see a player like Suarez at Arsenal. But why bring that up again? It’s tired and been done to death.
Arsenal need another striker in January – we can all agree to that. It’s not life or death, as some people will have you believe. Fortunately for the club, there is a German international who has spent a large chunk of his career playing through the middle as a centre-forward, both for Bayern Munich and Koln. But it’s easy to overlook that for the sake of argument.
The problem is depth. If you move Lukas Podolski away from the flank and into the middle, that essentially leaves Arsenal one player light in midfield. There shouldn’t be any concerns about Podolski’s ability in front of goal; he’s the best finisher at the club. But Arsenal need more if they’re to sustain this charge on silverware.
The answer isn’t Suarez. The only way Suarez becomes the ideal candidate is if we’re forced to accept that there isn’t another striker available in world football. Another factor in this argument in favour of the Uruguayan at Arsenal is the assumption that the club need a world-class centre-forward. Olivier Giroud isn’t world class, but what if the club had two of him? They’d be alright, yes?
Suarez has one destination. Real Madrid will eventually allow Karim Benzema to move on, more than likely due to pressure from the support, and not because Florentino Perez will be all too keen to let him go. Of course, Radamel Falcao could fill that gap for Madrid – and Sergio Aguero is another option that is often overlooked – but that doesn’t seem too likely, as least not as likely as Suarez.
The bridge has been burnt between Arsenal and Liverpool. John Henry will simply not allow for that level of strengthening of a direct rival, no matter the cash on offer. Realistic cash I mean.
For Arsenal, the development and contribution of Giroud will prove to be the bright spot in losing out on Suarez. I raised the point that the Frenchman isn’t quite world class, but then the same has been said about Mario Gomez, yet the German more or less guarantees goals wherever he goes. An investment in or around the £10 million mark can bring about as much success as those who would command fees of at least four or five times that amount.
They don’t have to be world class, just good enough. And for a club of Arsenal’s resources, there are plenty of other options besides Suarez.
Should Arsenal break the bank for Suarez in January?
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