As soon as it became clear he was going nowhere after John W Henry impressively kyboshed any talk of a move to Arsenal, it became clear we were going to have to forgive the enigmatic Uruguayan. It was also clear that such a thing was going to be easy to do – when you can get him on a pitch he’s a joy to watch.
When you make the sort of impact Suarez has this season it is far easier to forgive and forget. The comments about desperately wanting to sign for Arsenal seem like a lifetime ago, even if they really grated at the time and were very ungrateful and dismissive of the considerable support he has had from Liverpool during his time at the club. He has scored hatfuls of goals and the four goal display against Norwich is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. He’s scored more goals this season than 11 teams have in total.
He’s also made great efforts to calm his game down. He’s had to, because the problem with Luis Suarez is that he’s only ever one moment away from disaster. But we know that and we’ve just come to accept it as part of who he is. He’ll give you 120% effort when he’s on the pitch, and I do think there are signs he has learned how best to channel this.
From the club’s point of view this is a no brainer. Not even the boneheads in the national press can now concoct a “Suarez to Arsenal” story in January with this new deal. It should end speculation until summer at the very least. And if speculation mounts there (and if we don’t make top 4 it will) then so be it, if someone pays his release clause then we lose the player but get paid Gareth Bale/Ronaldo sorts of money. It protects the club from any attempt at disrespectful lowballing, which is the game Arsenal tried last summer only for it to ultimately blow up in their faces spectacularly.
From a money side of things, that doesn’t bother me. The lad is easily the best player in this league and is for my money the third best player in the world at this moment in time. £170k a week is money well spent in that department, and so is £200k which is what it rises to in the summer. We’ve cut wages over the last two years or so to facilitate exactly this type of wage for this type of player. When you’ve got someone this good, pay them what it takes. Just get the deadbeats off your books, which we have now managed to do.
I’m made up we’ve managed to secure the value for our biggest asset. If we get into the top 4 I think he’ll be here next season as well. But one thing is for sure – this is what’s best for business from a footballing point of view. I just hope he doesn’t spoil the feel good factor generated ahead of a tough festive period by doing something stupid.
He has had no backlash from the fans because he’s hit the ground running this season and the damage has long since been repaired. Pretty much everyone is delighted and rightly so, because Luis Suarez is a talent we should all admire.