Arsenal

Arsenal and Luis Suarez: What Is Really Going on Here?

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Bacary Sagna of Arsenal and Luis Suarez of Liverpool compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
H AndelAnalyst IIIJuly 12, 2013

After much noise from beating the bushes too loudly shortly after the past season ended, things have grown quiet at Arsenal.

The idea that the club can sign Wayne Rooney and pay him about £200,000 a week has receded to its proper station—the realm of pipe dreams. For the reality still is that Arsenal are not in a position to afford those kinds of wages—not now, anyway.

And the appetite for Gonzalo Higuain appears to have been whetted in vain. The entire idea seems now to be fading away, gradually but surely. What appeared to be a bird in hand is turning to be none in hand at all, and that may explain the bizarre turn towards the trouble called Luis Suarez.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why Arsenal would want to buy themselves such trouble—as Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph reports they might. Do they imagine that by bringing him south to London from the north he will suddenly quieten down?

Do they think that if he signs for them he would leave his biting and diving ways behind? Is he apt to take to the English way of things and embrace the life thereof, ceasing to complain about how he is the target of a smear campaign by the press?

And what about those first few matches of the new season (seven or six) he would miss because of his current suspension? Wouldn't that be detrimental to a club that would want to hit the ground running?

Everyone knows that Suarez is a great footballer, but do not the troubles he trails behind him outweigh the benefit of having him?

This turn toward Suarez, if indeed this is true, smacks of desperation to me. I believe, though, that Higuain is still Arsenal's real target, and that this turn towards Suarez might be a diversionary tactic.

If rumors from Geoff Sweet of the Sun are to be believed, Real Madrid would like to sign Suarez. Based on the club's history with Higuain, Suarez may be their preferred choice—but Liverpool’s insistence about not selling their prized asset may be an obstacle to Madrid’s ambition, a situation only mitigated by the player's not-too-subtle desire to leave Liverpool.

By submitting a bid for Suarez, Arsenal may be trying to force Madrid's hand. In turn, Madrid  may want to counter-bid for the player, since he is really their first choice for a new striker.

But to get Suarez,  they might be forced to sell Higuain.

Moreover, even Higuain himself might want to consider a club that would allow him to play more football—a club like Arsenal.

I could be wrong, of course. (See here for similar sentiments.)

If I am, I have to admit that I’m still baffled by this interest in Suarez. He is the kind of player I normally wouldn't want Arsenal to associate themselves with. However, an Arsenal squad with Suarez in it is better than one without him.

If my speculation is right, then I may not be doing the club any favors by stating it. As an Arsenal fan I wouldn't, of course, want to disrupt anything that gives Arsenal any advantage, such as a roundabout way to getting their real transfer target.

On another note, I would like to see Arsenal get serious about signing Marouane Fellaini, even if the inflated price quoted by Everton for him (reported by the Mail) speaks against the parsimonious Arsenal in the first place.

And what about Cesc Fabregas?

If there’s any slight chance that the player is unhappy at Barcelona, shouldn’t Arsenal work to bring him back to the club? A quick-switch player like him is what I believe Arsenal need in their midfield.

This very reason is why the return of Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal the impetus they needed to finish the past season strongly.

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