Controversial he may be, but no one could argue against Luis Suárez’s sheer brilliance on the field. Despite a ban which saw him miss the first five games of the season, Suárez has emerged the English Premier League’s top goal scorer. That alone isn’t enough to convey the impact that the Uruguayan has made since joining the Reds in 2011. He does more than score goals; he has also been instrumental in breaking up defenses and creating numerous chances for teammates. Some lament his knack for controversy and childish behavior, but Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers is convinced that Suárez is on the right track.
When a player has Suárez’s level of skill, it is inevitable that there will be talk of transfers to foreign clubs with big names and big bank accounts. Managing director Ian Ayre thought it best put an end to such gossip by securing Suárez’s services in a new long term agreement. The deal runs until 2018 and includes a pay increase to £200,000 per week in the last four years.
Many fans are thrilled with the news since it is clear how instrumental Suárez will be to the club’s success. His 17 goals have helped guide the Reds to second in the league and a mere two points off rivals Arsenal FC. Arsenal had attempted to acquire Suárez’s talents with a cheeky summer bid of £40,000,001, meant to trigger a release clause in the contract at the time. This lead club owner, John W. Henry, to respond via twitter:
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?
— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
Whatever it was, LFC’s owners were having none of it. They dug in their heels and have been vindicated many times over.
Perhaps Tottenham Hotspurs are beginning to feel that they should have done the same. The club recently sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas following a humiliating 0-5 defeat at home to a Suárez-led Liverpool side. The team had a record transfer season which began with the sale of the club’s talisman, Gareth Bale. Bale is working hard to make waves at Real Madrid, meanwhile the Spurs have struggled in his absence. Observation rather than experience can be one of the best teachers and this is clearly an issue being actively avoided at Anfield.
With the winter window almost upon us, this deal was likely a way of closing the door firmly in the faces of domestic and foreign rivals for the interest of the star player. Some also speculate that the owners have cemented Suárez’s enthusiasm to stay by promising to add talent to the team. It is too early to say what the Reds can accomplish, but this new contract is definitely a statement of intent. Liverpool will be holding on to a very good thing and it may lead to a many great things in the near future.