Luis Suarez needs no introduction.
He is known to be able to play as a main striker, second striker or at times on the wings for tactical reasons. No matter where this great attacker plays, he is known to churn out goals in almost every game he plays in.
Because of his pace, strength, work-rate, stamina and productivity, I have always put him in the same class as the versatile great Carlos Tevez…another goal-hungry beast on the football pitch.
The Uruguayan goal machine has been in the limelight of top-flight soccer since he bust into top-flight European football scene at Ajax in the 2007/2008 season. In his 1st season at Amsterdam Arena, he scored 17 goals and racked up 5 assists in 33 appearances for the Dutch giants. By the time he upgraded from Amsterdam to Anfield in 2010 for £22.8m, he had scored an impressive tally of 111 goals in 159 games (4 seasons)
At Anfield, he was unplayable. He became Liverpool’s talisman and led them to lift the EPL Football League Cup in the 2011/2012 season. He won many individual awards along the way and the most prominent then was winning the European golden shoe award in 2014, EPL golden boot in 2014, PFA player of the year in 2014 e.t.c. By the time he upgraded to Barcelona in 2014 for £64.98m, he had terrorized EPL and European teams with 82 goals in 133 appearances.
At Barcelona, in his first season he formed a formidable partnership with Neymar and Messi to become the highest scoring forwards in La Liga season with 122 goals. He scored 25 of those goals and assisted 20 of those goals which helped Barca lift a treble that season. Unfortunately, Neymar left shortly but that did not stop our Uruguayan goal machine from biting 198 goals from 283 games for the Catalan giants between 2014 – 2020. That is a 69% conversion ratio and very few strikers can achieve that feat.
Since his arrival at the Camp Nou, he has always been the highest goal scorer behind Lionel Messi even till his final season at Barca, so why did Barcelona let such a productive attacker move for nothing despite his irreplaceable value? There is currently a dearth of super-sharp strikers that meet Barca’s high standards so why did they let him go?
It is easy to point fingers at Ronald Koeman, Barca’s current manager but we also need to remember that Koeman would not have been able to offload Suarez if that decision did not get the blessings of Barca’s president and board.
To make matters worse Suarez was sold to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid for nothing – he left on a free transfer. Even Arsenal will try to get a £100 for error-prone Shkodran Mustafi!
A player that was bought for £64.98m 6years ago and was the fourth highest goal scorer in the Spanish La Liga 2019/ 2020 season with 21 goals in 36 games even though he had a calf injury surgery that kept him out for about four months in that disruptive season was let go for nothing.
Even almighty Messi finished the season with 31 goals from 44 games.
Did Barcelona think Suarez was finished and did not want to take the gamble on him again with a new contract at 33 years of age when ironically he and Messi were both born in 1987?
Or was Barca looking for a scapegoat to blame for the humiliating way the trophyless 2019/ 2020 season ended with Barcelona’s 8-2 trashing by Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter final round?
Whatever that decision was, it was and still the dumbest management decision ever taken in top-flight football in this modern times. How do you let a minimum 20-goal season striker go for nothing to one of your greatest rivals in the same league? Or better still, how do you let Luis Suarez go for nothing? I am sure many team thought it was a joke he was being let go for free and that is why they did not jostle for his signature.
Every team in Europe right now will be happy to have Suarez in their team even if his wages are high and might get a red card in big games from biting your opponents.
That explains why Juventus jumped at the offer even though they had Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala firing on all cylinders.
Diego Simeone will be laughing his socks off at the stupidity of Barca to let Suarez go for nothing and worst of all remain in Spain as his team currently tops the La Liga table with a 10-points difference between them, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Unfortunately, for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid still have one game in hand. To make matters worse for Barca, Luis Suarez has even scored more goals than Messi so far this season and that might simply means Messi might have been killing his shine at Barca like Messi has always done to many other stars who have left the club for him.
The recent outburst about the true value of Messi’s current contract proves that the Catalan management are spendthrifts and that also reflects in their current account statement which is currently painted in red. Selling Suarez for a mere £25m would have given their books some cosmetic facelift but they were too dumb to be realistic.
I am happy that Suarez is outside the shadows of the spoilt brat at Barcelona. No wonder he has been scared to leave the club all these years as decisions have always been taken to favor him and he always feared he might not get that same protection outside Barcelona or his flaws might be exposed to world again as it continually gets exposed whenever he plays for his national team.
Luis Suarez deserves all the accolades he can get because he is definitely the only attacker that has been able to play with Barcelona’s spoilt brat for the longest periods ever as a striker. No wonder Neymar and many other great attacking stars always ran away from Camp Nou at the slightest opportunity.
Hopefully, Suarez bites a good chunk of Barcelona’s ear at the end of the season by lifting the La Liga trophy with Atletico and any other club or individual honors available.
Barcelona FC deserves all the pain they can get now!