He’s leaving, he’s not leaving; he wants to go, he doesn’t want to go; will they, won’t they? – as is the case every year, this year’s transfer window has its share of uncertainty and late surge in excitement with the season kicking off in less than a week. Here’s a look at the three biggest names linked with moves and the impact it will have on their respective clubs.
Amidst all the publicised support offered to Luis Suarez by Liverpool FC in the wake of the controversies he was involved in, they seemed to have overlooked the fact that a lot of the current footballers are mercenaries. I’m not condoning Suarez’s recent actions and statements in the media but the fans that supported him despite his flaws in ‘non-footballing matters’ must learn to accept that a player of his skill and quality will have ambitions of performing on the big stage. Sadly for Liverpool, they can’t offer that to Luis Suarez in terms of Champions League football, but Arsenal can.
As for Arsenal, a very expensive and highly controversial player might not be in the mould of a typical Arsene Wenger signing but Suarez is the exact type of player Arsenal needs. The club lacks an attacker who is willing to drop deep to receive the ball and make intelligent runs that drag central defenders out of their position (Van Persie, Henry and Bergkamp did this very well), which would enable other attackers like Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski to run into space and have a goal scoring opportunity.
If Suarez does move to Arsenal , this would be a massive dent to Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification for next season. Given their current roster, it is hard to see where the goals will come from if their top scorer from last season with 30 goals in all competitions was to leave. Brendan Rodgers has to identify a suitable replacement rather than spending all his effort in making Suarez stay.
No one is sure about the truth behind the Wayne Rooney saga. As per Sir Alex Ferguson, Rooney wanted to leave; the player himself has denied handing in a request; and David Moyes refuses to sell him. Many fans have had enough and the general sentiment is that there is enough cover and talent to fill the void that Rooney leaves – with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Adnan Januzaj (latter having a very good pre-season) who are all capable of playing off the main striker, or in the case of Welbeck, leading the line too. However, the fact is that Rooney clocked 12 goals and 10 assists in 22 league starts last year while there was a combined return of only seven goals from Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverly, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia and Welbeck.
If Robin Van Persie was to get to injured or suspended, United would need another reliable source of goals. They’d also require a player with energy in the middle of the park, passion, bite and ability to track back. It might not be a healthy relationship but it’s a convenient one and Manchester United will stand to gain if they kept Wayne Rooney.
The Welshman was an unstoppable force in the 2012/13 league season. In almost the same number of games (44 in 2012/13), he more than doubled his tally by scoring 26 goals in all competitions as compared to 12 in the season before. £80m (and counting) is a ridiculous sum for any player and Tottenham (or Daniel Levy) will be making the right decision in cashing in on Gareth Bale.
In many instances last season, Bale single-handedly carried Spurs through games. He took matters in his own hands more because of lack of other consistent goal threats. This also probably explains why he only assisted 4 goals in the league last season compared to 10 in 2011/12. Though Spurs posed more steel in defence and the middle of the park last season, they lacked ruthlessness up front, especially when Bale was injured or being man marked. Andre Vilas Boas has further bolstered his side by adding Paulinho and Roberto Soldado. The presence of a proven striker like Soldado should potentially make up for the dearth of goals.
If the sale goes through, the funds can be used to invest in three to four good quality players – wingers and forwards (Angel Di Maria as part of the deal would be a great piece of business) and build strength in depth. Truth be told (and ludicrous it might sound), Spurs can achieve a top 4 finish without Gareth Bale.