Despite controversy, Luis Suarez remains a target for Barça and Andreas Vou believes signing him would be a mistake.
By Andreas Vou (@AndreasVou89)
As FC Barcelona’s overhaul enters full-swing with the additions of Marc-André ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic and Claudio Bravo, the name that remains top of the club’s wish-list is the controversial figure of Luis Suarez. Despite the Uruguayan’s latest moment of madness, in which he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in his nation’s final World Cup group game, Barça seems undeterred and is said to be willing to break the bank to land the Liverpool star.
The 27-year-old was one of the world’s top performers last season with an incredible return of 33 goals in 31 Premier League matches, as well as 12 assists. His performances have certainly not gone unnoticed as both Barça and rivals Real Madrid are said to be fighting for his signature.
However, tactically, financially and for the sake of the club’s image, the move makes no sense and should be avoided at all costs.
Year upon year, Barça pursues and often signs a forward player regardless of the team’s on-field requirements, as shown with last summer’s big money purchase of Neymar, a fee which seemingly continues to rise.
A front three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Suarez is a mouth-watering thought but in reality it would not function so effortlessly. The likely scenario would be that Suarez and Neymar would switch between the left and the right side of the attack and, at times, Messi would occasionally feature on the right with Suarez in a central role.
The problem would be that at least one of the three would at all times be out of the positions in which they are most effective. The most important factor of a front three is fluidity, a system in which each player knows his role, not one in which each player has the license to roam as they please and whereby a moment of individual brilliance is required.
Both Neymar and Messi were ineffective in the few games they played on the right side of the attack last season, as was the case with Suarez at Liverpool.
Also concerning for Barça fans should be that the club is being linked with such a variation of forwards – first there were reports of a move for Fernando Llorente, an option who which would make the team more direct, a ‘plan B’ if you will. Then it was Gonzalo Higuain, a clinical centre-forward, suggesting that a change of formation was in mind.
Now, Suarez is suddenly the priority - a player who, like Messi and Neymar, wants to be involved in all stages of the attack – suggesting that next season’s approach is being defined by the incoming players, not the other way around.
To top it all off, what must certainly be the most frustrating factor of this talk for the fans is that the club is again prioritizing on the attack, an area where there is more than enough talent, rather than focusing on defensive reinforcements where the team has clearly been suffering in recent years.
Barça has not signed a center-back since the $37million move for Dmytro Chygrynskiy in 2009 – that’s exactly four years and ten months, or 1,765 days. The club has so far spent over $60million on new recruits this summer and the touted $68million move for Suarez (plus Alexis Sanchez) suggests that there may not be much left to spend on the area that it is the team’s most obvious weak point.
Pep Guardiola tried to sign the Uruguayan for Barcelona when he was at Ajax. The Catalan club carried out extensive background reports on potential signings in those days and, in Suarez’s case, decided that he was not a character that the club wanted due to his hot-headed nature.
Apparently, even after those concerns have since been justified, it seems as though it is not a matter of importance anymore. Barça dodged a bullet back then but the club is now, strangely, putting itself back in the firing line.