For all his wonderful talent and goal-scoring ability, Luis Suarez creates chaos wherever he is. The Uruguayan striker showed promising signs of returning to redemption during a fantastic goal-scoring with Liverpool who came within a whisker of surprising the odds and winning the Premier League. His thirty-one goal haul was enough for Suarez to not only eclipse every other player in the English top flight, but also win the European Golden Boot ahead of La Liga stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The striker let his finishing do the talking, although his temperament and tendency to go down easily creates an unwanted reputation that he may never shake off.
Suarez made the headlines throughout the 2013/2014 season for all the right reasons, and went into this summer’s World Cup as one of the in-form strikers which Group D opponents Italy, England and Costa Rica had every right to fear. Despite missing Uruguay’s shock opening game defeat to Costa Rica, Suarez came to the fore with a wonderful brace against England which sparked considerable interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona who realised his world class ability. There is, however, a side to Luis Suarez that is not in keeping with his unerring ability to find the back of the net, as the Uruguay star was caught on camera biting the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during their crunch game which decided who progressed to the knock-out stages. The incident led to a four month ban for Suarez who was sent home from the 2014 World Cup in disgrace, with many wondering whether the latest controversy will leave his career in tatters.
Real Madrid and Barcelona
Their desire to become an even stronger force on every domestic and European front has seen Real Madrid and Barcelona heavily linked with a move with Luis Suarez. Both teams possess an enviable array of attacking options, but it never hurts to sign another striker that is able to take every chance that comes his way. Suarez has developed a wonderful finishing ability and technique that enables him to be a real danger in and around the 18 yard box – areas which Real Madrid and Barcelona often reach in every game on a regular basis.
Real Madrid’s interest is based upon a continuous doubt over whether Karim Benzema can ever produce consistency in front of goal that can score the amount they need to make the difference in La Liga and the Champions League. The sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli in the summer of 2013 also leaves them short of striking options, although Jese and Alvaro Morata have shown wonderful potential when given a chance in the first team. Despite their interest, Barcelona have emerged as strong favourites to sign Suarez as they enter a new dawn under new manager Luis Enrique. Suarez would undoubtedly be a marquee signing who would fit perfectly alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar to provide Barcelona with a prominent attacking threat, with the club willing to work with Suarez to prevent any more biting incidents.
Will Liverpool sell?
Despite growing belief that Luis Suarez’s future lies in La Liga, one big question remains unanswered – will Liverpool cut their losses on their star striker and leave themselves with a huge void to fill. Brendan Rodgers has remained quiet on Suarez’s future, but the latest controversy may force his hand into selling a player who already feels victimised by sections of the British press. The Uruguay FA and nation still consider their star striker as a hero, but they are seemingly alone in their endorsement and support for Suarez; large sections of Liverpool fans feel that Suarez should not be given another chance for redemption after the third biting scandal in his career, and will be considered as damaged goods that their club must get rid of.
While a move to Barcelona looks increasingly inevitable, there is one silver lining that Liverpool can take from the potential sale of their star striker. Although the controversy rightly condemns Suarez for his actions and tarnishes his reputation even further, Liverpool have worked effortlessly behind the scenes with Suarez to deal with his on-field indiscretions. It provides an element of leverage that, if Barcelona or Real Madrid is unwilling to meet the asking price, Liverpool could be more than happy to keep Suarez and worked with him during his four month ban. If Brendan Rodgers decides to sell his prized asset, Liverpool could utilise Suarez as leverage to acquire Alexis Sanchez in any potential deal with Barcelona. The lightning quick Chilean has enjoyed an excellent World Cup following a promising first season in La Liga, but there is speculation that his future may lay elsewhere. Signing Alexis would soften the blow of losing Suarez and ensure Liverpool remain a dangerous attacking force.