There was a time that the stick to beat Liverpool fans with was that if it wasn’t for Luis Suarez, they wouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and their perennial rivals, Manchester United.
Indeed, Luis Suarez could have been described as the heartbeat of Liverpool F.C but at this stage of a successful campaign for the Merseysiders, he has become just one man on a team that could soon take over European football.
Suarez is still vital to Liverpool’s plans but with the emergence and coming of age of the likes of Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, one has to believe that maybe if he was tempted to join a team like Real Madrid in the summer that all would not be lost.
The funds obtained might even buy a few more players that could stabilise this team further in an effort to beat the likes of Real Madrid in Europe. Yes, we are talking about Liverpool beating Real Madrid in Europe.
Chances are the incoming players wouldn’t be as electrifyingly fast or exciting for the Premier League as Suarez is but, under Rodgers, they can grow into World Class footballers with European football and promises, if not, guarantees of improvement. That pull power that Liverpool once lacked in the transfer market is quickly returning.
Brendan Rodgers moved to Liverpool from Swansea in 2012 and from the start was under pressure. After all, he was taking over from a Liverpool legend in Kenny Dalglish who had just failed and was in charge of a team of also-rans who were no longer, seriously, competing for the Premier League title.
The critics had a field day with every loss but Rodgers had a vision. A vision that is being lived out in front of our eyes now on a weekly basis. It is a vision involving fast, fluid forward play, a deep-lying Steven Gerrard, sturdy, if not convincing, defending mixed with goals, goals and more goals.
At one time, Liverpool fans were considered the most delusional in England when every season came around and they declared themselves title contenders when they were clearly anything but. Regardless of whether or not they win the title this year, they will head into the new season after the World Cup with Champions League nights on the horizon and title talk being taken very seriously.
As for Luis Suarez, his staying at Liverpool is the perfect example of a team biding their time in the knowledge that one day their fortunes would turn. No amount of money could have convinced Liverpool’s hierarchy that selling Suarez was a good idea. They stayed true to that and credit to Suarez, he remained true to his contractual obligations also. And what do you know? The sun is rising over Anfield once again.
At one point, Liverpool hoped and prayed that Suarez would stay. Every press conference Brendan Rodgers held was a mishmash of questions with Luis Suarez at the root and how Rodgers planned to keep the volatile striker happy. But as with many things, once the results started turning in their favour, it began to seem that Luis Suarez needed Liverpool just as much, if not more, than they needed him.
As for now, Suarez would be a fool to leave the club as he has settled in Merseyside with a club that has given him their backing so many times that you would be excused for losing count. He might get better wages elsewhere but this club and its fans are owed at least one season of European football with the lively hitman.
Then again, if they were to sell him. It could turn out to be Suarez’ loss and over the course of this season, you could argue that Suarez has learned this for himself.