Arsenal's extraordinary transfer activity during the summer window saw them make official bids (£30m and £40m+£1) for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez. While Arsene Wenger did not return with an improved third offer, had he lodged a fee between £50m and £60m, he may have convinced the Merseyside club to do business.
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, thus far without Suarez due to the Uruguayan's serving of a ten-game ban, has seen his side flourish, with Daniel Sturridge on particularly strong form, share third spot in the Premier League with Chelsea and Manchester City and have a 1-0 triumph over Manchester United already on their resume.
Suarez returns from his suspension this evening, as Liverpool, again, line up against United, this time at Old Trafford in the third round of the League Cup. Rodgers is delighted to welcome the striker back into his selection, claiming he can repay the club in his own way by being as prolific as he was last year.
'Now he comes back we are getting a £50-60million striker back in the team and that is exciting for us,' said Rodgers, as quoted by The Telegraph.
'This is a player who can come in and make a difference for us. All you can do now is judge him by his performances on the field. The measure for Luis now is on the field. His way to say sorry or make any contribution back to the supporters is to play with his heart 100 per cent and score goals and make this team successful and I am confident that will happen. He can't play any other way.'
Last season, Suarez's form in the Premier League made him one of the stand-out performers in the whole of Europe. In 33 matches and 2,955 minutes of pitch-time, he scored 23 times and made five assists (an efficiency rate of one goal or assist every 105 minutes). On top of this, he also shot 143 times (50% on target) and created 90 goal-scoring chances for his team-mates.
With the expectancy that he will match these statistics as soon as he is back playing regular football, as well as the public knowledge that Arsenal have at least £50m left in their season kitty for transfers, the only question that remains is whether Wenger returns for Suarez in the winter window...
image: © Viking-