However, I can’t help but feel a little anger at the fact that we apparently didn’t nail down a signature or two before leaving. It’s not impossible to conduct business from seven time zones away, but it’s a heck of a lot more difficult. In the absence of any concrete news, then, we twiddle our thumbs and scan too many sites for news. Luis Suarez, of course, has dominated the transfer-news lately, and the persistence and pervasiveness of the stories make them hard to ignore. I’ve pushed back against a Suarez signing here and here and here. My latest attempt comes armed with ammunition from Brendan Rodgers himself, who had this to say a few days ago:
Last year, you mustn’t forget that [we] gave Luis Suarez the opportunity to flourish and hopefully this year that will continue to be the case. I made the decision last year to move Andy Carroll out on loan because I wanted to work the team round Luis’s talents. All our movement patterns and our tactical ideas were based around him and he flourished from that.
In other words, Suarez scored as often as he did because the entire team was built around him as were all of Liverpool’s tactics. No surprise there. It does serve to remind us, though, that Suarez scored frequently because of his talent, yes, but because the entire offensive scheme went through him. According to whoscored.com, Suarez has a conversion-rate of only 12.3%, taking some 188 shots to get his 23 Prem League goals. Here, by comparison, are the conversion-rates of some of our players (from arsenal.com, courtesy of opta):
- Walcott: 22.58%
- Podolski: 33.33%
- Cazorla: 16%
- Giroud: 12%
Speaking of fees, Gazidis has given Arsène something like £70m to spend this summer. If we were to commit £40-50m for Suarez, we’d leave ourselves with precious little for securing anyone else’s services. Say we do get him for £40m (unlikely, as Liverpool have apparently already rejected this). We’d then have £30m left. This might be enough for one more very good player or two could-be-good bargains. Maybe. However, we’d then go in to a season having committed more than half of our reported transfer-budget to one player with little guarantee that (a) he’ll deliver on his potential, (b) do so without squelching our other attacking options, and (c) stay on the pitch without getting suspended again.
I’ll keep on coming up with ways to prove why we shouldn’t sign him until I hit on a magic solution that someone brings to Arsène’s attention or until he’s signed for us or elsewhere.
Before you go, go over to the 2012-13 YAMA Awards to vote for best Arsenal bloggers, tweeters, and writers. Woolwich 1886 is nominated as a Best New Blog, and I hope to earn your consideration (and vote). Thanks!