So now Wenger gets ambition.
After years of urging Arsene to release those purse strings and bring in the kind of players the club needs to challenge for the title, he decides to go after a striker who could yet turn out to be one of the most controversial and unlikeable in Premier League history.
Luis Suarez is trouble, make no mistake. He is also a wonderful player, but seeing the Gunners set aside so much money for him makes me uneasy.
The cheeky £40,000,001 bid last week suggests Arsenal were encouraged to makes moves to sign the player by his advisers, knowing it would activate a still hotly disputed clause in Suarez’s contract.
- Arsenal reportedly weighing up prospect of re-signing in-form goalscorer
- Recently departed Arsenal star reveals he’s living his ‘dream’ at new club
- Mesut Ozil remains defiant over future but slams Arsenal for lack of loyalty
That suggests Suarez is keen on a move to the Emirates. Understandable given Liverpool are on the wane while Arsenal are in the Champions League and not that far away from having a squad capable of challenging for the title.
However, what was all that tosh Suarez said about wanting to escape the British press while on international duty in June? Even if he had moved to the goldfish bowl that is Real Madrid those comments would have looked stupid and transparent, but by pushing for a move to the Gunners it makes his motives clear.
By slowly ostracising himself from his current employers and making his position untenable, Suarez will force Liverpool to cut their losses. But given he hasn’t handed in a transfer request; the kind soul that he is, Suarez would still be eligible for significant loyalty payments.
This is a player, don’t forget, who went on strike to force a move to Ajax from Groningen in 2007. And I have got this far in the article without mentioning his two separate bans for BITING an opponent as well as the Patrice Evra affair two seasons ago.
When channeled correctly, Suarez’s fierce will to win combined with his immense natural talent makes him formidable player and one who would score a hatful of goals for Arsenal.
But he comes with too much baggage and would produce as many negative headlines as he would positive. That, for me, makes the deal a risk not worth taking.