Liverpool manager: Spurs struggle proves we were right to keep Suarez

Gareth Bale 3

Rodgers believes Tottenham are paying the price for selling their best player during the summer.

Brendan Rodgers has suggested that Tottenham Hotspur’s problems since selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid prove that Liverpool were right to keep Luis Suarez.

Bale joined Madrid for a world-record £85million in the summer, and while Spurs then splashed out close to £100m on new players, their season has descended into chaos, with manager Andre Villas-Boas sacked after the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

Liverpool, meanwhile, ‘fought like tigers’ to keep hold of star striker Suarez, who was subject of a bid in excess of £40m from Arsenal. Rodgers categorically rejected all approaches for the Uruguayan striker, who is now in sensational form, with 17 goals in only 12 appearances.

Rodgers said, as quoted by Telegraph: “There have been difficulties from Bale leaving. It shows you that when you have someone with that X-factor, sometimes eight, nine or 10 players can’t replace that.

“That was why we fought like tigers to keep Luis Suárez here because he is a top player, he is a top performer. There are many good players but very few who perform week in, week out to that level.”

Rodgers’ stance highlights a contrast in approaches from the two clubs. Spurs clearly felt that such an astronomical fee for Bale was too good to refuse, and having made the majority of their signings before the Welshman’s departure, believed they were relatively secure heading into the new season.

At the time, it looked a clever piece of business by chairman Daniel Levy.

In contrast, Rodgers knew he already had the bones of a good side at Anfield, capable of challenging for the top four, but considered Suarez pivotal to their success. Selling him would have left a void that was almost impossible to fill.

Rodgers considered that losing his star asset would effectively be admitting that Liverpool are playing second-fiddle to the likes of Arsenal in the transfer market; the club would be undermining its own position.

Spurs were content to take that gamble, in the belief that the team built in Bale’s absence would be superior to any Tottenham side of recent seasons.

That, of course, is not how things have worked out at White Hart Lane, and while it is probably too simplistic to say that Tottenham’s troubles are entirely down to Bale’s departure, his move seems to have been the catalyst.

What looked a good piece of business by Levy now could be considered a costly error of judgement, not so much in selling Bale, but in bringing in so many new players and expecting them to gel in such a short space of time.

He can only watch in envy as Rodgers fields a settle side each weekend, with consistency building and a title-challenge becoming more and more realistic.

It is generally accepted that every player has his price in football, and were Real Madrid to come in with a sizeable offer for Suarez next summer, Rodgers’ reaction will be interesting. But for now, his refreshing determination to keep hold of his best player is paying off handsomely, in contrast to Tottenham.

image: © James Boyes

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