The North Londoners had made two offers for the Merseyside outfit’s star player much to the displeasure of the Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers, owner John W Henry and the fans.
Arsenal still have yet to make a key signing this summer – so far only 20-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo has arrived at the Emirates on a free transfer from Auxerre with the French boss under pressure to bring in quality additions for respectable sums to convince the fans the club remains ambitious.
1) Risky Business
Firstly, Luis Suarez was always going to be a huge gamble for any prospective buyer – his track record of indiscipline and reckless behaviour has only been compounded by his disrespect of Liverpool and his desperate attempts to engineer a move away from the club where he only recently signed a contract that commits his future (in theory) until 2018.
His poor behaviour on the pitch – the biting, the ‘simulation’, the racist abuse, the dishonesty and unsportsman-like conduct are one thing – but his public betrayal of the club that has stood by him through thick and thin and thinner demonstrates his poor attitude.
He has shown himself to be completely self-serving and unreliable as a character – that is not the kind of temperament that top clubs will be impressed by. The sulking and the public statements about the club’s ‘promises’ to him show his true colours and if he was prepared to treat Liverpool (and Ajax) like that, why should his next club be any different?
He has brought nothing but disrepute on Liverpool Football Club and I suspect that Arsenal would have suffered a similar fate had they have signed him.
For the reason outlined above, I firmly believe Suarez is overpriced – Liverpool valued him in excess of £50 million and for that kind of money, Arsenal could buy a player that adds a similar amount of quality to the team without the baggage that comes along with a character like Suarez.
The Gunners are presently linked with the likes of Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Mesuit Ozil of Real Madrid. Those players are top quality professionals at one of the finest clubs in the world. The figures being suggested fall between £25 million and £40 million and for that kind of outlay, Arsenal would be risking a lot less that they would have with Suarez.
3) Alternative Targets
On that note, with time running out before the transfer window closes next week, Arsenal are free to pursue other targets – whilst the Suarez deal was still hanging around in the air like a bad smell, there was less impetus for Arsenal to go after other targets with any real conviction.
Now, they really will have to force deals through, be decisive and perhaps even a little ruthless to get the wheels in motion and finally bring in some top players. With the impending sale of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale looming in the background, a ‘domino effect’ of player sale could ensue right up to the wire and Arsenal, with their financial resources, could be ideally placed to capitalize on the reshuffle over in the Spanish capital.
If they’d have already spend £50-odd million on Suarez, they likely would have spent more than half their budget on one very risky transfer, leaving them with perhaps less than £20 million to play with in the final week of the window.
Meanwhile, Suarez wasn’t even that interested in Arsenal – by all accounts, he wanted a move to Real Madrid and would likely have seen Arsenal as a short-term stepping stone to a club of that stature. He wanted to play in the Champions League but I think that reason cited for his desire to leave Anfield was over-egged somewhat – his real desire was to play for Real Madrid or perhaps a club like Bayern Munich.
As I’ve outlined, he would have likely ended up shafting Arsenal in the same manner next summer or the summer after that. This way, Arsenal can bring in an alternative to the Uruguayan that actually has desire to play for Arsenal for the long-term, someone who’ll honour the terms of their contract, think, act and behave with the benefit on the team as their priority.
Arsenal would be better off with a player that wants to play regular first-team football (ahead of the World Cup next year) and who wants to make an impact for positive reasons rather than the constant negative whirlwind that Suarez seems to attract toward him.
5) Stick to your guns
Finally, with all of the above in mind, Arsenal have under Arsene Wenger remained faithful to his philosophy and his idealism – it doesn’t always work and he can’t please all the people all the time – but Arsenal would have been effectively abandoning an ethos that has served them well for 16 years.
When Arsene Wenger brought in players like Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira or Robert Pires or Cesc Fabregas, they were not the household names that Luis Suarez is – but they became some of the finest players of their generation, across the world. They won World Cup and individual honours as a result of their moves to Arsenal and their work under Arsene Wenger.
The fans, as desperate as they are for big names and big fees, must not forget that his philosophy worked and it can work again – brining in Luis Suarez would have been a deviation from the plan that worked exceptionally well up until a couple of years ago and an abandonment of the legacy that Arsene Wenger will one day leave behind.