Liverpool striker Luis Suárez has made it known once again this week that he is eager and willing to leave Anfield.
On Monday, Suárez’ agent, Pere Guardiola, reportedly visited Merseyside and told Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre that Suárez wants the opportunity to participate in the Champions League, the implication being that is not something that will not occur if he remains at Liverpool.
Suárez is right; Liverpool is currently not in a position to challenge for a Champions League spot, even though the team did play better in the second half of Rodgers first season in charge. After earning just 28 points in the season’s first 20 games, including just two in the first five games, the Reds tallied 33 points out of their final 18 games.
The team only finished in seventh place, however, and against the six teams ahead of them in the table – Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton – Liverpool could only manage one win in the 12 matches.
But Suárez also has it within his power to help the team improve (see his 23 goals in 33 games last season), especially if he would stop doing stupid things, such as receiving a 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic during a game against Chelsea.
Of course, it’s easier to just throw your hands up and say “not my problem” than it is to actually try and make things better at your current club. And it is just as easy for Liverpool officials to point out that they’re already not winning with Suárez, they can just as easily finish in the middle of the table without him.
The question now becomes, what is the club waiting for?
Well, for starters, they need someone willing to take on Suárez at a price that would help Rodgers and Ayre improve the club. Despite what Suárez and his agent may think, those offers are not currently pouring in, although Liverpool did turn down a £30 million offer from Arsenal last weekend.
Knowing that there is at least one other club who is interested in him seems to have helped soothe Suárez’ fragile ego for the moment.
“I have to value that, despite everything that’s happened, [English] clubs still value players for what they can do on the field,” he told The Guardian. “That makes me think that I can come back and do well over there. It’s good that the English clubs still want me.”
It’s odd, though, that Suárez would be interested in Arsenal when he has repeatedly claimed that the English media treats him unfairly. We’re a little fuzzy on how a move to a club that is based in London would solve that problem.
Even though the Arsenal bid may have been a bit undervalued, it also may have been in Liverpool’s best interest to accept it. Other clubs know that Suárez wants to leave, with Real Madrid being his stated preference. But the Spanish club has not publicly expressed a desire for Suárez and could be waiting in the hopes that Suárez will finally become enough of a distraction that they can move in and pick him up on the cheap. Other teams know that as well, so it is hard to see how his transfer price will go up.
Much like last summer, when they finally moved Andy Carroll to West Ham, it may be time for the club to take what it can and just move on.
Because if Suárez doesn’t want to be at Anfield, what good is he?