Liverpool have opened initial negotiations with La Liga giants Barcelona over the potential transfer of Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez following the Uruguayan forward’s four-month ban from FIFA last week.
The Spanish side could be willing to offer up to £80 million for the 27-year-old, close to the current world record transfer fee for former Tottenham attacker Gareth Bale who signed for European champions Real Madrid last summer for £85.3 million.
The Welsh ace was the previous winner of the PFA Player of the Year award, currently in Suarez’ possession, but Spurs’ tackling of the task of replacing one of the best players in the world didn’t go as smoothly as the North Londoner’s might have hoped.
Spurs signed a total of seven players last summer for a total of £103.7 million but finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League. They sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas in December 2013 and then sacked his successor Tim Sherwood at the end of the season, replacing him with Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.
It is a cumbersome task to replace a player of such quality – a player the team relies so heavily on – and Liverpool must avoid making the same mistakes as Spurs should they opt to cash in on Luis Suarez this summer.
The Reds have a fantastic manager in charge in Brendan Rodgers and owner John W Henry is an admirably supportive presence at Anfield which will bode well for the club’s ability to move on from Suarez should they sell him.
On top of that, the clubs already possess an abundance of quality in their ranks in Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen as well as new signings Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Adam Lallana.
However, last summer Tottenham brought in a number of quality signings who had proven themselves abroad in Roberto Soldado, Nacir Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Erik Lamela, Vlad Chiriches and Christian Eriksen but apart from the latter they failed to settle in at White Hart Lane and make enough of an impact in England.
If Liverpool sell Suarez they must ensure they have players who are already acclimatized to the Premier League coming in, if possible, such as Lallana formerly of Southampton, and that they give the squad time to gel together before drawing conclusions about the success of the signings, the team and the manager.
Selling a player like Suarez would provide the Reds with the funds to go out and buy a replacement but buying quantity over quality did not work for Spurs; if Liverpool sell their highest quality asset they must ensure they bring someone in of equal quality or potential.