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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Suarez to Real Madrid in January? What Liverpool Need to Do to Keep El Pistolero at Anfield

There’s no doubt that Uruguay and Liverpool forward Luis Alberto Suarez is one of the hottest properties in word football today. The 24-year-old was voted the best player in the Copa America tournament that ended in July, a tournament in which he scored four goals including one in the final against Paraguay.

After helping his country to a record 15th Copa America triumph, many thought that El Pistolero would be rested as the English Premier League kicked off just a week later. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, however, knows best what the Uruguayan brings to his team and had his man hit the ground running in the opening fixture against Sunderland. Suarez has gone on to play in the club’s last three fixtures in which he has scored two goals including the second in the 2-0 win against Arsenal last month.

In fact, the South American starlet has himself come out to state that he needs no rest. “I want to play in all the games I can for Liverpool, I don’t want any rest at all,” he said.

 It is perhaps this hunger for success, attitude towards the game, explosive start to the new season (after a red-hot end to last season) and mindboggling dribbling that leaves defenders in his wake that has caught the eyes of supremos in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

According to Barcelona-based newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, the oldest sports newspaper published in Spain, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has identified the former Ajax man as one of his prime targets come the January transfer window.  

Of course identifying a player and buying him are two different things. But then, this is football and we all know how things can change in a wink. Liverpool’s valuation of the player – if it exists – may be astronomical but then again, so was Cristiano Ronaldo’s who the Los Blancos priced out of Manchester United for £80 million.

With all that said and without implying that the Merseyside club will be required to consider the position of Suarez if El Mundo’s interview with the Real supremo are to be given some weight, it’s nevertheless important to try and figure out how King Kenny and the Anfield boardroom can keep the Uruguayan gem at L4.

Loyalty plays an important part in life, football notwithstanding. But don’t we all know how hard it is to judge a footballer’s loyalty to their clubs today? Fernando Torres was loyal, and so was Michael Owen and lately, Raul Meireless. Until…

So with loyalty out of question, Liverpool’s best chance to keep El Pistolero at Anfield would be to actually increase the player’s wages. Right?... Wrong.

Suarez, for all intents and purposes, is not a go-for-the-money kind of a player. He remained at Ajax for nearly five years even as big European teams kept banging the door. At Liverpool, although no one really knows how much he earns, am cocksure it’s not Rooney-esque figures, never mind it can be argued that they both make measurable contributions to their respective teams.

With money out of question also, it’s obvious that the only thing that can keep the Salto-born marksman at Anfield is when they start winning trophies. And they can. But the most immediate is getting back to Europe. Players and even the owners have reiterated on the need for England’s most successful club to return to European competition which they will be missing out for the third consecutive season.

The song has been sung countless times about how bad ownership and directionless recruitment of players almost sent the club to the dogs. Not anymore. Kenny Dalglish, Director of Football-cum-master-statistician Damien Comolli as well as owners, Fenway Sports Group led by John .W. Henry have done a tremendous, if not perfect, work at Liverpool since January.

New players have been recruited and all the deadwood have been offloaded to places where they belong. Liverpool is a club going forward and I believe Suarez and the likes can see that.

Liverpool's 1st and 2nd XI
Returning to Europe looks achievable with such a squad boasting of the some of the Premier League’s best players at their position. New signings Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam, Sebastian Coates, Jordan Henderson and deadline day signing Craig Bellamy all look the part of a Liverpool squad ready and willing to mount a serious European, if not EPL title charge.

Add the names of Daniel Agger, Steven Gerard, Andy Caroll, Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Martin Kelly, Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva and you have one of the best teams in the league.

Arsenal, in spite of new signings, is depreciating. Tottenham’s flame is no longer that bright and doesn’t look like it will be any brighter this season, and Chelsea looks ever so beatable. The two Manchester clubs pose a bigger problem and might be Liverpool’s hardest nut to crack should the You’ll Never Walk Alone club want to win the league. But that’s only if they want to win the league.

But there’s general consensus that this might not be Liverpool’s season to win the league, and achieving that possible fete will be a very welcome bonus. For that to happen, Suarez and co will have to work for each other and ensure they get back to European Champions League. Winning the FA or League Cup will give everyone a good kick at the back.

Failure is not an option and should that happen, it won’t be surprising to see the Gunfighter aim his arsenal to THE team in La Liga.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!