The problem with having a great player is that every transfer window, there would be knock on your door for the player. Without any iota of doubt, Liverpool’s talisman was Luis Suarez. They were able to fend off interest in him last summer but lost the battle this summer as he completed his move to Barcelona.
When he left, it was obvious he had tobe replaced. Trying to do that, the Reds turned to Italian striker Mario Balotelli. The Italian hasn’t really hit high notes since completing his 16m Pounds to the Merseyside outfit. Now that his fairytale return to the Premier League isn’t going according to plan, Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that the former City hitman wasn’t really the prime candidate to replace the departed Uruguayan.
“I always said it was about availability and affordability of players,” Rodgers said.
“Mario was the one right at the very end who was available for that.
“I said when he came in that it was a calculated risk and it’s something I have to work on to try to make it work for the team.
Claming Balotelli was not their first choice to replace Suarez is a serious verbal gaffe that shouldn’t have been committed. It could dampen Balotelli’s already troubled morale. I doubt if the statement would have been made if the maverick Italian striker was firing on all cylinders. But with him recording just a goal in 7 Liverpool appearances, the statement could be a form of regret. What the former AC Milan man needs now is not a word of regret from his manager but comforting words in the hope that things would get better.
Also, that statement further reinforces the brand erosion of Liverpool. The Reds are seen as a spent force in Europe and the reason for that can’t be divorced from their absence from the top echelon of European club competition for 5 season. They may be back now but top players could see it as a flash in the pan and would expect them to be consistent in qualifying for it before they could be taken seriously.
How else could you explain having realized almost 70million Pounds from the sale of Suarez to Barca, they couldn’t afford to land another marquee forward. They tried but failed in their bid for Sanchez, Benzema even overrated Cavani. Seems everyone wants the comforting assurance of Champions league football. For long, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was consistently berated for rating a top 4 finish as good as a title and higher than conventional titles like Carling now Capital One Cup and even the FA Cup. Some fans would have gladly traded the Capital One Cup for a top 4 finish during the lean years.
With the brand erosion Liverpool are undergoing now, I believe Arsenal fans should be grateful to Wenger for sticking to his guns by ensuring Arsenal might not have won trophies for 9 years but never failed to make top 4 and play Champions League football.