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DEBATE: Can Liverpool hold on to Suarez?


While there has been renewed reports linking Liverpool striker Luis Suarez with a January move to Real Madrid, Brendan Rodgers has insisted the Uruguayan is happy at Anfield.

Liverpool will be well aware that qualifying for next season’s Champions League could well be the deciding factor in whether or not striker Suarez remains at the club, and Rodgers’ men have certainly put themselves in a strong position to achieve a top-four finish in this season’s Premier League.

After a summer in which it looked as though Suarez would be leaving Liverpool, the striker has returned to action following his suspension and produced some of the best football of his colourful career. There is a growing feeling that this could finally be the year in which the club return to the top-four.

“Luis had a difficult summer but he has come back and he is more mature and his performance level has been really high. He sees a genuine chance for us to make that (top four). He is happy here,” insisted Rodgers.

The main reason behind Liverpool’s sensational start to the season has been the form of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. The two strikers have weighed in with 18 goals between them – 9 goals for Sturridge & Suarez – and the duo have quickly formed one of the league’s most prolific forward pairings, with both tipped in football betting to smash past the 20-goal mark this season.

Liverpool might not yet be genuine title contenders with the majority of those who bet on football but that’s not to say the club aren’t in a great position to mount a realistic challenge for a top-four spot. And if Rodgers can bring Champions League football back to Anfield, the club will know their chances of keeping Suarez happy are significantly improved.

So this week we debate, Can Liverpool hold on to Suarez?

Points of discussion

  • Lack of sustained Liverpool challenge
  • Suarez need for success while still in peak
  • No shortage of suitors
  • The British media


  • Sami Faizullah (@SamiFaizullah) believes that the Reds can hang onto their star player
  • Arnab Ray (@ArnabRay21) thinks it’s going to be increasingly difficult to keep a hold of the striker

Lack of sustained Liverpool challenge

Arnab Ray:

Suarez has always been a great player playing for a good team at least in club football. His goal scoring record in the Eredivisie is well documented and with a record like that, you’d have expected him to chalk up a few medals for Ajax. However the facts beg to differ as he only won the KNVB Cup in the 2009-10 season and received a winners medal for Ajax’s Eredivisie triumph in the 2010-11 season having made 13 appearances for the Dutch giants before moving to Merseyside in January, 2011.

His time at Liverpool though punctuated with individual brilliance, has been a disappointing one in terms of team results. League Cup victory in the 2011-12 season aside, Liverpool haven’t finished in the top 4 during his spell in England although they admittedly are in a good position to do so this season.

More to the point, Suarez hasn’t played a Champions League game for Liverpool yet. The Champions League has an allure for fans and presumably players alike. The idea of taking on the best teams and locking horns with the elite is one which is universally appealing. The Champions League represents the pinnacle of club football and although as mentioned above they are flying high in the Premier League presently, most Liverpool fans will admit that their famed haul of 5 European Cups will remain at that number for at the very least a couple more seasons. For Suarez maybe it’s time for him to be a great player playing for a great team in with a genuine chance of European glory, especially as he approaches his peak. In his own words to The Guardian in August, “I’m 26. I need to be playing in the Champions League.” Quite.

Sami Faizullah:

It’s true Liverpool have failed to deliver in terms of competition, but given the improvement in their challenge at the start of this season, and good understanding he has developed with the likes of Sturridge, Coutinho, Gerrard & co, that seems to be changing.  Liverpool, as over-done as it may sound, are in a ‘transition’, but the young squad alongwith the young manager, seem to be maturing. This has been translated on the pitch as well. Rodgers has settled in well at the club, he has got the backing of both the players and managers and the entire air around Liverpool is finally positive.

Premier League  England   Live Football League Summary

To say that at a club like Liverpool, trophies aren’t guaranteed, is true. But given the level of competition now, at which club is it guaranteed (besides may be Bayern Munich & Barcelona, given the lead they already have on their respective leagues and the personnel). Arsenal, City & Real were constantly linked in the summer with Luis Suarez, and while Arsenal have had a terrific start, can one say they’re guaranteed to pick up silverware? No. Look at how inconsistent City have been. Real Madrid are currently behind their neighbours Atletico & Barcelona in Spain.

You could argue that the above mentioned clubs have a better chance at a trophy, simply given they’ve all been competing at a higher level and all are in the Champions League. But again, did any of those clubs win a trophy last season?

Need for success at peak

Arnab Ray:

To quote Brutus from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

The traditional peak or ‘the tide in the affairs’ of an outfield player is around the age of 27-30. He has the perfect combination of experience while still on top of his game in terms of physical fitness. This may differ from player to player but in general it’s something I believe to be true.

The age of 27-28 is also a period in which players might fancy a move to newer pastures. He is playing at a level that he reckons is close to the peak of his ability and would like something more than just adulation from the fans to show for it. A single League Cup trophy thus far doesn’t do justice to the level he’s been playing at.

Suarez will turn 27 in January and his record last season and the beginning of this season proves that he is playing some of his best football. With no shortage of suitors, Liverpool repelled all the sharks circling in the summer transfer window but given the player’s caliber, they’re sure to be back.

Sami Faizullah:

Continuing from my last point, my case remains the same. Yes, Suarez is at what some would say his ‘peak’, perfect time to win a trophy. But again, in modern-day football, in the 21st century, and especially in the 2013-14 season, where is it guaranteed?

Robin Van Persie would be the perfect example both for and against. He did take a chance and move to a rival club, finally winning a trophy at the age of 29 (his first since 2005), but again, it wasn’t necessarily at his ‘peak’. Or rather, his peak lasted longer than what it would in a traditional sense. The same could go for Suarez, given his level of ability, it could last for long.

And again, Van Persie moved to a club like Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson, who were guaranteed minimum one major trophy in a two-year time frame. No one, not even United themselves, can guarantee that at this stage (except, again, the likes of Bayern).

Liverpool are a club on the rise, the likes of City, United & Chelsea are all going through new regimes, so are many clubs across Europe. Everyone has an exciting project, Liverpool’s is in full flow. Even at his caliber, at his increasing age, Luis Suarez will be a key role at a club like Liverpool for years to come. That importance is something that not many other clubs can offer.

No shortage of suitors

Arnab Ray:

Suarez has a considerable amount of baggage given his far from saint-like disciplinary record over the years but such is the man’s talent that there will never be a shortage of suitors.

SuitorsIn the summer, Arsenal lodged an infamous 40 million plus 1 pound bid for him and there was supposedly interest from Real Madrid’s side. Both sides moved on and signed other high profile players but one thing is for sure, there are plenty of teams out there who’d like to have Suarez in their side and quite a few of them are more than willing to pay the required money and more.

Sami Faizullah:

A player like Luis Suarez will always attract the attention of Europe’s top clubs, always. Arnab has made a good point about how Arsenal, Real Madrid (and even City) have actually made high profile signings. Arsenal were the main interested party, but it’s highly unlikely that Wenger will spend big again, after the Ozil capture.

It’s a bit of a weird situation, seemingly, Suarez can play for any club in the World, but no club really ‘needs’ him at this point of time. Or they can look elsewhere for a cheaper option (because Liverpool won’t let him go, if at all, on the cheap).

A bid from PSG or Monaco is always likely, and no offence intended, but I don’t think Suarez would be interested at going to a project of that sort. Juventus have long admired the Uruguayan, but they seem to fail financially in their interest. Real Madrid could possibly be looking at making a move for him, given the sale of Higuain, and lack of options (besides Benzema and Morata).

So yes, there will always be interest in Luis Suarez. How much of that will translate to concrete interest? Who really does need Suarez (despite him being one of the best in the World? Who can actually afford Suarez? Your guess is as good as mine.

The British Media

Arnab Ray:

Before that Guardian article, Suarez reportedly blamed the media in England for discriminating against him due to him being South American. Whether true or not, one thing that is for certain is the fact that plenty of column inches have been filled with Suarez providing a number of sound-bites (Sorry!).

Suarez will always be in the limelight in England whether he likes it or not and that is something that will not change. I’m skeptical of just how big a role the media would’ve played if he does indeed leave Liverpool but the fact that he’s had problems with them, gives him an easy way out; a worrying sign for Liverpool.

Sami Faizullah:

Let’s set the record straight, the media is the same across the World. There is no such thing as an unbiased media. They all have their opinions, and fans of clubs will always disagree with these opinions.

Luis Suarez does seem to be the victim, more often than not, of unfair criticism from the media. Will a move to Spain, Italy or Germany prevent this, or reduce it? No. As it has been said, his reputations does indeed precede him, wherever it may be. So the British media alone is not the problem.

Luis has probably reached a point in his career where he has learnt to just block all the comments out, ignore them completely, and let his football do the talking. So far this season, it has worked. The media has been stunned by his sheer brilliance as he finds himself at the top end of the scoring charts, despite missing 5 games due to suspension.

If he does indeed leave, the media will not be the reason, Suarez won’t give them that much importance.

Readers’ Opinions



There’s no doubt Liverpool can remain confident in their efforts to keep a hold of Luis Suarez. All the points discussed above have their fair level of ‘possibility’. However, a move in January would seem to be unlikely as Liverpool are doing fairly well. But come summer, the same points will be discussed again.

Your opinion

What do you think? Can Liverpool hold on to Suarez? Make sure you follow us on Twitter @OOTB_football and like us on Facebook. We’re on Google+ and Tumblr as well for those interested.

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