Suarez appears to have had a change of heart, but there are still some issues that need resolving.
The Luis Suarez saga took yet another twist with the striker telling journalists ahead Uruguay’s match with Japan that he will stay at Liverpool – citing the fans reaction to him, and indicated that he may sign a new contract.
At Liverpool it must be music to the ears of many, as it looks as though they have managed to keep hold of a world class player who constantly pined for a move away. He cited a number of reasons including the press for unfairly treating him and that at this stage of his career he feels he should be playing Champions League football.
But there still remains some questions to answer. Suarez also suggested that he would be willing to sign a new contract but given the dispute there has been around his current contract, what will be contained in there? Will there be a clause saying that he can leave if Liverpool don’t qualify for the Champions League?
And what of the apology that Brendan Rodgers has demanded from the Uruguayan?
Rodgers needs to stand firm on this issue because if he allows Suarez back into the set-up without a private and public apology, Rodgers’ will look weak, which makes him open to attack and some sections of support who don’t necessarily want him to be Liverpool manager (not saying that is widespread, it’s just people have different opinions and there are inevitably those who don’t think he’s the right man to be Liverpool manager).
It may be a blessing in disguise that there are six games to be played before Suarez can be available for selection, which gives those behind the scenes to iron out any potential issues on that front.
But there is one issue that some will feel uncomfortable with, and that is giving a hero’s welcome to the Uruguayan, when some will feel he simply does not deserve it.
The chances are when he makes his comeback from his ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic – some will cheer but some won’t. Some may not believe in cheering the name of a person for just walking onto the pitch and being selected by the manager, especially given the manner he has behaved throughout this whole saga, and in other incidents gone by.
The other aspect is Liverpool’s hierarchy throughout this episode, as they can take a great degree of credit for holding on to Suarez and sticking to their guns on the issue – or as some may put it ‘standing up to player power.’
Suarez may have been backed into a corner again and been forced to do what Liverpool want him to do on this issue – but there may be the odd compromise to follow.
But with a marquee player staying, perhaps it makes Liverpool a more attractive proposition for some players, with the club demonstrating they are serious about getting back into the Champions League. Even though it might centre around player, today could be a very big day for Liverpool’s season before it has even kicked off.
But have we really heard the last of it? It’s hard to say!
What do you think of Suarez’s change of heart?
image: © dannymol