Arsenal's doomed opportunistic attempts to secure the marquee signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool during the past summer market was because an apparent clause embedded into the Uruguayan forward's contract was supposed to trigger an escape route.
The fact that this clause did not actually exist was already public knowledge, however, there is more to the story, as reported by The People, who indicate that such a clause was indeed part of the negotiation process between Liverpool and Suarez the year before but, under advisement of Suarez's agent - Pere Guardiola - it was discarded. Suarez since forgot that it was scrapped and was of the opinion it therefore still existed.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger tried twice to land Suarez… the first with a £30m offer, which was rebuffed instantly by the Anfield club while the second, a £40m+£1 bid, was believed to have given Liverpool no choice but to begin a deal by providing the Gunners permission to begin personal discussions with the striker.
Last year, Suarez was one of the players of the season. In 33 Premier League matches he created 90 chances, five assists and returned 23 goals.
This season, the 26-year-old's development has continued under the tutelage of Liverpool gaffer Brendan Rodgers as his passing accuracy has improved by an astonishing 5% (from 76.6% to 81.5% this year), he has remained just as prolific at shot-taking but, crucially - for his club's league position as well as his own market value - he has become far, far more efficient in front of goal.
Last year, Suarez returned an assist or goal in Premier League duty once every 106 minutes. This year, with eight goals already claimed, with one assist, in 539 minutes, Suarez is - indeed - in the form of his life and is responsible for a goal or assist once every 59 minutes.
Suarez is, statistically speaking, twice as effective as he was last season… when Arsenal apparently valued him at £40m.
In September, Rodgers quipped that he was welcoming back £60m worth of talent to his team but, with the player's perpetual excellence on the pitch, surely that figure is only increasing with every game.
image: © wonker