Arsenal have been here before. A star player taking unsavoury avenues to push for a transfer away. Of course, Arsenal haven’t quite been in this situation before, with the player currently in question apparently pushing for move to the Emirates, but it’s still an unpleasant side of the transfer game.
So why should Arsenal continue on? This isn’t really a question of whether Arsenal supporters want Luis Suarez at the club or not; that matter is secondary to this. But instead it’s a question of values for the game. Arsene Wenger spoke of amicable talks between the two clubs, but how comfortable is it to know that Suarez is seeking legal advice to force Liverpool to submit?
Transfer requests are one thing. You accept now that taking that option is a part of the game, even if the player sours his relationship in a way with his club. And then you get to the darker side of transfers, when clubs hold firm and wantaway players begin seeking alternative options to get what they want. Arsenal have dealt with Cesc Fabregas going “on strike,” and Barcelona were roundly criticised for their actions in the outcome of that saga. It was a similar situation with Robin van Persie, with the player more or less making his position at Arsenal untenable with that address on his website last summer.
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Arsenal like to do things the right way, to hold their cards close to their chest and to be respectful and mindful of all parties involved. Maybe it’s irony that once Arsenal finally have the money to spend, they embroil themselves in one of the most convoluted and potentially ugly transfer sagas of this summer.
Isn’t there some questioning from within as to the likelihood that Arsenal could go full circle on this one, with Suarez possibly taking similar action in a few years when he tires of life in north London? But even that aside, Arsenal don’t take on underhand tricks to get what they want in the market; there’s no media storm, or players tapping up targets on international duty. It’s one thing for the current Arsenal squad to talk up the possibility of a player of Suarez’s calibre arriving, but it’s a completely different thing to openly court him via the media or social networks.
Spending big isn’t a sign of abandoning ones values, but spending badly is. And once again, this isn’t a debate as to whether Suarez is wanted at Arsenal or not. The signs were already on the wall for Wenger to avoid the Uruguayan. The incidents in the past with Patrice Evra and more recently with Branislav Ivanovic; the fact that he’s done this sort of thing before, forcing Groningen to sell him to Ajax when the club wanted to stand firm. The matter of the fee isn’t really an issue; for his footballing ability why wouldn’t Suarez’s value be around £40 million? But the £40 million plus £1 was misguided, largely for the respect that should be held between both clubs.
It may get to the point this summer where Liverpool feel it’s in their best interest to sell Suarez. Isn’t legal action the point of no return, even for a player who is head and shoulders better than the rest? But it’s getting to the stage now where there are more and more reasons for Arsenal not to buy the Uruguayan, with so many controversial issues now surrounding his obvious on-pitch brilliance.
He’s not an Arsenal player – and that is very much a term that has been regularly thrown around during Wenger’s tenure. It’s about Arsenal being respectful and the players very much upholding the standards of the club. There is a good harmony in the dressing room going into next season, and while a star name is needed, how far would Suarez go to align himself with the values and tranquillity in place?
Should Arsenal continue to pursue Suarez in spite of the player’s legal threats?
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