By Rob Dore | Premier League
If the rousing reception received when he came on as a sub during Steven Gerrard’s testimonial game against Olympiacos is anything to go by, the Liverpool fans very much want Luis Suarez (26) to stay Anfield this summer. A seemingly desired move to Arsenal has not been helped by the Uruguyan striker continuing to discuss his departure in the media. It’s beginning to look like Liverpool may be irritated enough to dig their heels in on this one.
His agent, Pere Guardiola, claims Champions League football is the motivation behind his unrest rather than his need to escape the cruelty of the English press.
A not very subtle change in their narrative, seemingly motivated by the lack of interest to date from his desired suitors Real Madrid and Barcelona. In fact there has been so little interest from the La Liga giants that Arsenal are still favourites to land Suarez for around £40,000,001.
Though a substantial amount, it is still below the £50m the Merseysiders will believe they can command for a player they are under no financial pressure to off-load. It would also make a mockery of Suarez’s original justifications for agitating for a move.
The two big questions on the table now:
- Is leaving good for Suarez?
- Is coercing him to stay for another season a wise move for Liverpool?
The Paddy Power Blog takes a look at previous Liverpool greats who asked to leave the club with animated gifs of their key statistics.
Fernando Torres (2007-2011)
The Spanish striker arrived in Merseyside from Atletico Madrid in 2007 for over £20m. It was at Anfield where he would enjoy the most prolific period of his career.
However as ownership troubles hamstrung the club and Rafa Benitez was replaced by the less Spanish Roy Hodgson he began to realise the club was not on the the rapid upward trajectory he was promised it was. Unhappy and struggling with injuries he was considerably less successful during his final season at the club.
It could be argued that this slump and his lack of motivation had a serious knock-on effect when he finally moved to Chelsea in 2011 for a club record £50m fee. He has minimal impact at Stamford Bridge troubles but he has picked up Champions League and Europa League winners medals with the Londoners.
- Atletico Madrid: 0.37 goals per game
- Liverpool: 0.57 goals per game
- Chelsea: 0.25 goals per game
Right or wrong to leave?
It’s a tough one. He’s unquestionably a shadow of the player which once promised to lift Liverpool out of the doldrums single-handedly but he is making far more money now and has won two major trophies. He doesn’t get the love he needs and has never looked happy in blue.
Michael Owen (1996-2004)
Part of a Liverpool side which threatened to be great but never quite was. He was a key player in some great cup successes for the Reds and was rightly lauded as one of the best strikers in the world. A reputation which helped in recent years when his hefty salary has not been matched by his productivity on the pitch.
- Liverpool: 0.53 goals per game
- Real Madrid: 0.35 goals per game
- Newcastle United: 0.38 goals per game
- Manchester United: 0.33 goals per game
- Stoke: 0.11 goals per game
Right or wrong to go?
Liverpool fans may disagree but the diminutive front man was right to leave when he did. He was unlucky at Real Madrid where a change of manager saw him become surplus to requirements after one decent season. It all went downhill from there but it’s hard to imagine his fragile body would have fared any better if he’d stayed on Merseyside.
Kevin Keegan (1971-1977)
Unlike Owen and Torres, Kevin Keegan made the decision to leave a Liverpool side at the height of its power. He went on to win the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV and reach a European Cup final. His strike rate also improved and continued to improve with each club he joined right up to the end of his career.
- Scunthorpe United: 0.156 goals per game
- Liverpool: 0.31 goals per game
- Hamburger SV: 0.36 goals per game
- Southampton: 0.525 goals per game
- Newcastle United: 0.57 goals per game
Right or wrong to go?
Although he enjoyed his time in Germany, Liverpool won two league titles and a European Cup during his Bundesliga stay. They would go on to win three more league titles and two more European Cups before Keegan effectively retired at the end of the 1984 season. Unless learning German is high on your bucket list he should have stayed.