Rodgers should copy Wenger if Liverpool lose Suarez

Brendan Rodgers is looking increasingly likely to face the monumental feat this summer of replacing Luis Suarez at Liverpool.

Whilst I ordinarily don’t buy in to the journalist-led transfer sagas that seem to ensue every summer, the Uruguay striker is making all the wrong noises that suggest he’d had enough of England and wants to move on elsewhere.

However, whilst it will certainly be a disappointment for the club, the manager and the fans who have stood by him every step of the way since his arrival from Ajax in 2011, Liverpool and Rodgers ought to take comfort in the example offered by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

The Gunners lost their top striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United last summer – that was last year’s big saga – and, though the French boss was reluctant to him go, especially to a direct rival, eventually he had to let the Dutchman go and, subsequently, he had to be replaced.

But, how exactly do you replace a player like Robin van Persie or Luis Suarez? There’s not exactly an abundance of top quality forwards out there capable of scoring close to 30 goals a season for the kind of money Liverpool and Arsenal can afford.

Chelsea and Manchester City can go out and buy an Edinson Cavani or a Stephan El Shaarawy for example but Liverpool and Arsenal simply don’t have that level of resources to throw around.

Much like the task that Billy Beane faced in “Moneyball”, competing with the big boys, their big wages and their big budgets is cumbersome to say the least but, somewhat like Beane, Arsene Wenger did the maths – you can’t replace a player like Van Persie, but you can replace his goals.

Robin van Persie scored 30 goals for Arsenal in his last season. Very few players on the planet are capable of that kind of tally but two players, or even three are capable of that combined.

Wenger brought in Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski last summer who, together, scored 33 goals in all competitions for the Gunners. The addition of Santi Cazlorla in midfield took that tally up to 49 in all competitions between them as a trio.

You can’t possibly replace a player of Luis Suarez’ quality, even with the supposed £50 million Liverpool could receive for his transfer but what they can do is buy two players, or three, who can combine to that effect. For example Rodgers could buy FC Porto’s Jackson Martinez and Christian Benteke with £50 million and probably still have some change.

Based on their tallies this term that would equate to 45 goals, assuming they remained fit and in their current vein of form.

And whilst we’re talking about fitness and form, having two players or even three who can each score around 10 or 15 goals each is much more intelligent than having one who can score 30 – if that striker is injured or banned for, say, 10 games, you are up a creek without a paddle, aren't you?

image: © wonker

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