Arsenal are embroiled in a transfer saga yet again this summer, except this time around it’s them doing all the chasing and Liverpool doing all the worrying.
However, the 26-year-old Uruguayan is, to put it mildly, a divisive figure – not only amongst Arsenal and Liverpool fans but across the world of football. His tendency to behave erratically (again, to put it mildly) makes him something of a risk, especially for the kind of figures Liverpool are suggesting he’s worth.
He is undoubtedly one of the most gifted footballers in the Premier League – second in his goal tally only to former Gunners striker Robin van Persie – but it’s a hazardous situation when he is frequently suspended and often at the centre of a storm, on and off the field.
Behind Van Persie and Suarez is Gareth Bale and that’s obviously a no-go area for the Gunners but behind them is Christian Benteke and Michu.
Benteke has just recently committed his future to Aston Villa but Michu is, relatively, still approachable – if a decent offer came in for him I would suspect Swansea would be willing to let him go.
Michu surprised everyone last term, coming, figuratively speaking, out of left-field (Rayo Vallecano) for just £2 million. The 27-year-old Spaniard scored 22 goals and made 5 assists for the Swans across all competitions and his technical quality caught the eye as much as his stats.
Michu is, in my estimation, the kind of player one would have expected Arsene Wenger to bring in – a relative unknown from a smaller Spanish club with exceptional technical quality, creativity and flair. Instead, Michael Laudrup used his knowledge of La Liga to bring in an absolute steal – that’s what Wenger earned his reputation on; bringing in the best from Ligue 1.
The other factor to bear in mind is, with all due respect to Swansea who won a trophy last term lets not forget, Suarez was surrounded by slightly better teammates at Anfield last term, which skews the playing field, effectively.
Suarez scored five more goals than Michu in the Premier League but he had the likes of Steven Gerrard behind him. Swansea have a fantastic squad but Michu carried them in much the same way as Suarez carried Liverpool.
Liverpool finished 7th and they scored 71 goals in total. Swansea finished 9th and scored 47 overall. As a percentage Suarez scored 32.4% of Liverpool’s league goals compared to Michu’s 38.3% for Swansea. Michu was actually twice as decisive for Swansea as Suarez was for Liverpool last term.
Michu is a much more likeable player – he works hard, has a great attitude, and seems like an affable kind of guy. He doesn’t bite people, he doesn’t get banned, he doesn’t even get red carded, he doesn’t ‘simulate’, he doesn’t’ t give anyone reason to dislike him other than if he scores against your team.
Michu could probably be prized away from the Liberty Stadium for half the price of Suarez, with half the fuss and rigmarole of the deal, with half the possibility he could abscond in a year’s time for Real Madrid, on half the wages and with half the baggage – he could be 20-goals-per-season attacker for Arsenal that could compliment the qualities of Olivier Giroud up front, rather than compete with him as a striker like Suarez would.
Would the fans prefer Luis Suarez for £50 million or Michu for little over £20 million? I think, for the benefit of the team overall, the Spaniard would prove to be a wiser signing in the long run for Arsenal.
image: © wonker