The sad tale of the Suarez Arsenal were claimed to have signed

Argentina Fans

Luis Suarez is not the only forward with his surname who Arsenal have been linked with over the past two seasons. Step forward Matias Suarez, who has endured a difficult time since the rumours peaked.

Arsenal's pursuit of Luis Suarez is, along with the Gareth Bale saga, the talk of football.

But it is not the only time they have been linked with a player named Suarez. 

Back in January 2012 the Gunners were said to have completed a deal to sign Argentine forward Matias Suarez on a pre-contract agreement, to arrive in the summer of 2012/13.

South American journalist Javier Perez wrote in his blog: "The deal will not be officially announced until later on in the season, as there are still a few bits and pieces that need to be ironed out.

"Arsenal wanted him to move during the January transfer window, but will be happy to have reached a compromise that sees them securing a player they have admired and watched many times last year."

The report was also picked up by L'Equipe, who just a fortnight ago claimed in similar circumstances that Bernard had agreed a deal to move to Arsenal.

Suarez was playing for Anderlecht at the time, and had attracted the attentions of numerous European clubs with his performances in the Europa League, where he had scored seven goals in six group games. 

Arsene Wenger was later quizzed on the rumours, telling the Mirror: "No, that's not true."

And so it proved. Arsenal did not sign Matias Suarez, so what happened to the Anderlecht attacker?

The short answer is the player is now at Anderlecht, signing a new contract last June which stands until 2017, describing it as a 'very important step in his career.'

But he really had little choice. Just two months after Wenger was forced into denying signing the forward, Suarez was dealt a devastating blow, a cruciate knee ligament injury.

By March 2012 he had 10 goals and 16 assists in the Jupiler Pro League, and then suddenly his season was over. It would be a full year until he featured again.

Suarez, cruelly denied a glamour move to a larger European side, had to focus on simply getting himself fit, and did not make his comeback until March 9, coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes against KV Mechelen.

He made just one other substitute appearance in the regular season, before finding his feet again in the playoffs. He scored in a 2-1 win over Genk in May, before netting another brace in a 4-2 win over Lokeren as Anderlecht won the title.

The turnaround in Suarez' fortunes had come full circle, ending the season with a winner's medal. Now he will hope to kick on and find the form next season which saw him linked with one of the Premier League's biggest sides. 

image: © sdhansay

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