The transfer window is yet to open on the Arsenal front and quite literally, it’s something we all knew would happen. The difference this time around is that the expectations are high (it always is!) along with a sense of calm sureness that the signings will come.
And the club really hasn’t tried to douse these soaring expectations and on the contrary it’s actions have only furthered these expectations. I mean, the surprisingly fantastic away kit, the noises made by the board, the players talking big and a real chunk of the back pages being dedicated to Arsenal has all got us up and running. And rightly so.
I believe the signings will come because Wenger knows more than anyone else that the squad isn’t good enough and this is his best chance in years to make a dash for the league title. We’ve been linked to big names- some very good players and some not so good. That’s all part of a rumor fed media campaign but some of those links do have substance.
The latest in line among the ‘Arsenal bound’ group is Suarez. First things first. Our interest in the Uruguayan is a fact. I am not sure about 30m and 35m offers that were supposedly made but from what I have read online- some are quite reliable sources- we did register our interest with Liverpool.
The most obvious conclusion I can draw from this is that it is a pressure tactic from Arsenal. Real are yet to make a move for Suarez and are playing hardball over Higuain’s fee. Higuain is Wenger’s first choice striker in the market at the moment and given the player’s desire to move, us holding out for a lesser fee is understandable. Moreover, all top teams look stocked up on the striker front if we consider the potential transfers of Negredo, Jovetic and Benteke. Chelsea is one team that desperately needs a striker but Real aren’t selling to Mourinho any time soon. So Higuain potentially has only one good suitor- Arsenal.
Higuain moving to Ashburton Grove would pave way for Suarez’s move to Spain and that scenario looks most likely to happen, at least on paper. It all fits quite well. Higuain wants Arsenal, Suarez would take Madrid any day and Liverpool would happily take any cash that comes in. But what changes all this is the way Suarez has been sounding in the press, Wenger being ambiguous when asked about it in Jakarta and importantly, Ancelotti pulling the strings at Madrid.
Ancelotti likes his men made of strong stuff. And frankly speaking, I think he’d prefer Higuain over Suarez especially when the team revolves around CR7. Also, Madrid have spent close to 85m on players already and anymore investments will be subject to recovering the money from sales. But Madrid’s woes is a story for another day, what we are concerned about is us, The Arsenal.
Suarez admitted that he’s honored to be linked to club’s like Arsenal. That’s a start, mind you. From what I’ve seen of Wenger over these years is that he likes players who fit into his system. That’s pretty much the defining factor in our recent transfer market history. The successful ones are those who’ve slotted in seamlessly, the failures being those ‘not good enough for his system’ and the lack of signings a result of Wenger not finding players he thinks fit into his system.
Considering that, Suarez clearly is a more ‘Wenger’ish player than Higuain. Suarez comes from the family of modern strikers. Creative, skillful, technically sound and the obvious, scoring goals. He’d be a younger, faster, right footed version of Van Persie though not necessarily as clinical as our former skipper. Higuain is a more classical version of the term ‘striker’. He’s a confident finisher, makes late and threatening runs, can hold up play and importantly, the fox in the box any team would love to have. I am only writing and I can’t make a judgement between the two so I believe Wenger will have his head full at the moment.
But if forced to make a choice, I’d choose Suarez any day for what he can do on the field. Is he worth 10-12m more than The Hig? Not on footballing terms but if the window works the way we know it does, YES. Selling to your league rival, the Premier League experience and the three years remaining on his contract would all mean that he’s probably worth the 40m Liverpool want.
The next question would be, is Wenger ready to pay 40m for a player? I am not ruling out anything until September 1st so I’d rather not try and discuss that issue anytime now. Now what remains to be asked is, What if we end up landing a coup?
Personally, it would be hard for me to take. I’ve never had time for Suarez ever since his now infamous ‘ The Real Hand of God’ against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup. His actions that day was a true indicator to what lies in there and it would be a shame if we had to patronize anything like that at the Emirates. His disciplinary record is a shambles, not to forget the 9 match he still has to complete. For a club that’s built on foundations of strong values, it would be an anticlimax. Ever since I’ve known Arsenal, it is the club with the best discipline and we present our kids with better role models, something that I am extremely proud about. For anyone to bite people is a disgrace. But coming from a footballer in front of 23 cameras, jeez………, I’d say he’s a nutcase! I’d have banned anyone responsible for such animal-like behavior and simply put, I’d not have him anywhere the Emirates.
What really hurts though is that we’ve got a historic and proud club like Liverpool defending his actions as a result of their current situation. Would Liverpool have backed him 20-25 years ago? Anyway, if at all we end up landing him, what does it mean for us fans?
We’d probably understand why United fans sing Van Persie’s fame, wouldn’t we? We’d be at the gaining end of rival transfer just like we were during Sol Campbell’s move, wouldn’t we? I mean, after all the abuse we’ve thrown (I did) at RVP and United fans, would we end up receiving a taste of our own medicine? We’ll have to as ultimately we all cheer for the boys in red and white, be it Wilshire or Walcott or Suarez.
Do I want to be in such a situation? In an ideal world, no. But if Wenger believes he can take the wildness out of Suarez and make him an Arsenal man just like he took the troubles out of a young Van Persie who then went on to be our best captain since Patrick Viera, I’d be happy to oblige!