It is been reported that Liverpool will hand striker Luis Suarez, the number 7 jersey when he signs for Liverpool tonight. In the days of squad numbers, the importance of the number has somewhat diminished, but its symbolism is still there for everyone Liverpool fan. Two of Liverpool’s greatest ever players, Kenny Dalglish and Kevin Keegan have worn the jersey, but in recent years, the number has been somewhat of a curse for those who have worn out.
Of course, a lot of it has been down to the lack of quality players who have taken on the number in recent years. Although Nigel Clough had a sparkling debut after his transfer from Nottingham Forest, things quickly turned sour. Steve McManaman had more luck but players such as Vladimir Smicer, Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane never really lived up to the shirt’s billing. While Kewell and Smicer were sidelined by a number of injury problems, hampering their performances on the field, Keane was gone in six months after not fitting into Rafa Benitez’s first team plans.
So will things work out for Luis Suarez? To some extent, spending a club record (at time of writing) fee on the Uruguayan is a risk. FSG are shelling out a great deal of money on the 24 year old while Dalglish is putting his faith in a player who is yet to player in abig European league. The Dutch league has been notorious in the past for flops who have failed when they have gone on to play in a bigger, more competitive league (e.g Kezman, Alfonso Alves) but in the same measure, a lot of players have come from the league to succeed (e.g Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy etc). It is fundamentally down to both the players’ abilities and specific footballing attributes which can help the player adapt more easily to the Premier League.
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