The 26-year-old Reds striker has been in fine form this season, scoring 30 goals in all competitions and, in the Premier League is second only to former Arsenal forward Robin van Persie of Manchester United.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers conceded this week in a press conference, in response to questions over the controversial forward’s future at Anfield, that Liverpool had not been in the Champions League, the continent’s most prestigious competition for four years now and that it is their target to achieve that next term. That is where they want to be.
Liverpool are a huge club, a globally recognizable institution with a history of success and glory but since their 2005 Champions League title, the Merseyside club have been usurped somewhat by more financially powerful clubs that have emerged domestically.
Manchester City and Chelsea were formally not the English superpowers they undoubtedly are now. Traditionally, Manchester United, Liverpool and more recently Arsenal fought for the top tier titles in England but the vast swathe of billionaires entering the frame in the last decade has seen both Liverpool and Arsenal slip from their top perch.
In the decade since Roman Abramovich, for example, arrived at Chelsea, Liverpool have placed (in descending order) 7th, 8th, 6th, 7th, 2nd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 5th, and 4th dating back to 2003/04. Arsenal’s trajectory is more consistent but still reflects a substantial decline in competativity over the same period: 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 2nd and 1st.
In that same period, Tottenham have emerged as a top-six team and have finished inside the top four two out of the last five seasons, complicating the battle to qualify for the Champions League even further. In recent years the 3rd and 4th positions have been contented by Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and to a lesser extent Everton.
Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard are Liverpool’s two best players – the latter has held that position in the team for well over a decade now – and the former was effectively a top class replacement for Fernando Torres who defected to Stamford Bridge back in 2011.
Arsenal and Liverpool fans alike may believe, understandably, that Arsenal would be more competitive with Suarez and Liverpool would be less competitive without him – that makes logical sense given the quality of the player.
However, if one takes Torres’ sale as gage, Liverpool may well be more competitive and potentially dangerous from an Arsenal perspective if the Gunners handed over £50 million for the Uruguayan.
When Liverpool reinvested the £50 million they received from Chelsea for Torres, they spent it very unwisely – if the Reds continue to make purchases like Andy Carroll (£35 million) and Stuart Downing (£20 million), Arsenal would have nothing much to worry themselves over.
However, that was then and this now – Brendan Rodgers has made some of the most astute signings in the league between this summer and January – Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are fantastic additions, Simon Mignolet a top top goalkeeper and Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto look to be class acts.
If Liverpool had £50 million to throw around the transfer market this summer, to reinvest in their squad, they may well present a far more dangerous threat to both Arsenal and Tottenham’s aims of making the top four next season.
If Arsenal buy Suarez, of course it will hurt initially for Reds fans but, in the long run it might actually be the best thing. In fact, if Arsenal get Suarez and Liverpool get £50 million out of the deal, the club that should be most concerned should be Spurs.