Buy now or buy right? Suárez won’t happen quickly

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Aug 9th, 2013

This topic has had the absolute arse debated out of it this summer, especially in recent weeks, and I probably don’t have anything unique to say but I’m going to say it anyway.

Let me ask you a genuine question that I want to you think about deeply for a moment before answering. Would you rather Arsenal bought significantly better players regardless of how late they come or completed all business before pre-season (or soon into it) even if those players are only marginally better or similar to what we have already?

I asked this question on twitter and had many responses about the two options not being mutually exclusive. I think in a way, and especially where Arsenal is concerned, they are.

Not because “Wenger is tight and won’t spend” or “Gazidis hasn’t got a clue”. It is because of how football works and as I have mentioned before, because of budgets.

I 100% agree that business should be done as early as possible, ideally before the season starts and better still, before pre-season starts.

Those words are important though. Ideally and possible. Sometimes in life as well as football things aren’t ideal. And sometimes it’s just not possible to get your deals completed before pre-season or even by the time the season starts.

There are so many things to take into consideration and it is because of this I find myself so infuriated by what I perceive to be blinkered people incessantly complaining about the club’s “inability to complete deals”.

If we had another manager or a different CEO I doubt we’d be any further along in our negotiations. It’s not easy to buy a player unless you are benefactor funded or are the beneficiaries of exorbitant transfer fees.

Pretty much every “big” player who has been purchased this summer had a release clause. The only player I can think of who moved without a release clause was Higuain and even then he had a set price. Madrid said £35m and Napoli, flush with £55m from the sale of Cavani, paid up.

Should Arsenal have done that? Maybe. We can only truly say yes in hindsight. From Arsenal’s point of view, a deal was agreed at £25m and Madrid moved the goal posts. Should Arsenal have dropped their pants, bent over the barrel Madrid were gesturing to with predatory malice in their eyes and braced for impact? In hindsight, maybe.

People will only say yes if we don’t get Suárez and therein lies the problem. Why allow yourself to be shafted when you have the chance to get a much better player? It’s catch 22 and there is no right answer.


What’s that John? You won’t let me leave? Sorry mate, I can’t hear you

And whilst we are on Suárez, it’s not as simple as paying £55m. Firstly, we may not be able to afford £55m. Secondly, just because Rodgers said it would take that sort of bid for them to consider it doesn’t mean they will accept it. Thirdly, if we drop our pants that quickly and agree to £55m, Liverpool could do to us what Wenger did to Ferguson last year and ask for more money at the last minute.

*Some believe that we should just offer the money they want and be done with it. Well going back to points 1 and 3 above. What if we can’t afford it? What if we say okay and they do a Madrid and up the price? It’s just not that simple and it is asinine to believe that it is. If the player has a buyout clause then yes it really is that simple but Suárez doesn’t.

People talk about “market value” all the time. “Just fucking offer market value”. What is market value? Well market value is the point at which two parties agree a fee. When you shop in Tesco the prices are set, the items have buyout clauses if you wish. You choose to pay or not to pay. Players like Suárez are on a market stall with no prices. You ask how much and when told you do one of three things. You either pay the price and walk away with your purchase (even if it means you have no money left to buy anything else which may be a problem in and of itself), say no thanks and walk away or you try to haggle.

People seem to think that just because we have a little bit of money (and let’s be clear, in the world of oil clubs and fees for truly world-class players, £70m doesn’t go that far if you want 2/3 players) it’s as simple as just paying the money and walking off with your new player. If it was that easy we would have done it already. We have a budget and it makes absolute sense to make that budget go as far as possible. If you truly believe that we can spend pretty much all our money on Suárez and that will be enough then I’m afraid you are going to be very disappointed next summer even if we sign Luis*

Wenger says it takes three agreements to buy a player, the player, the selling club and the buying club but I think he is wrong. I think it takes more than that. I think you also have to factor in the players and the clubs of the players the selling club is targeting to replace the player you want.

John W Henry has said that Suárez is not for sale (he postured similarly with Torres in 2010) but that may just be the desperate statement of a man trying to get more money for a player who is clawing to get out. Wenger did it with Nasri when we said we couldn’t sell Nasri and Cesc and still call ourselves a big club. He took a lot of flak for that but reports suggest that his posturing got an extra £5m out of Manchester City.

Veering slightly off topic for a second, John W Henry is considered strong and to be taken at his word when he makes this kind of statement. Arsenal, Wenger and Gazidis are considered fools when similar is said. Go figure.

So when Liverpool said Torres wasn’t for sale, and he didn’t have a release clause to activate either, they had to get enough money to replace him satisfactorily. They thought it required Suárez and Carroll but that’s another story.

Liverpool have made signings already but they are to improve the team they already have so if they were to sell Suárez they would need to shop for that squad. Suárez is a top class player and us Arsenal supporters know that top class players are not easy to replace so Liverpool would probably look to buy 2/3 players to make the squad more complete to cope with the loss.

Logic suggests that they would look to have these deals lined up before agreeing to sell Luis as they did with Torres. This would add to the time it would take to complete a deal for Suárez.

The transfer window will be closed soon and there is the possibility that Arsenal will have no additional signings but that is a completely abstract concept to me at the moment. But until that actually comes to pass I don’t see the point in losing my shit over it. The longer we wait to make these big name signings, the more the odds drop on us to win the league at”

Spongebob going crazy over a lack of signings

Please… please… make a signing

I do think that Liverpool will end up selling because who wants to keep a player that wants to leave? I just think they are holding out for more money and Arsenal are doing the right thing by keeping their pants up. It’s not the ideal situation but with a ban to serve there is no rush to sign Suárez unless other deals hinge on us getting him or not and if that is the case we at least have to see it through.

I’d rather we had signings already but I’m content to wait for the club to make the right signings even if it is on September 1st. How about you?

(Text between the *’s added in response to comments and tweets).

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

34 Responses to “Buy now or buy right? Suárez won’t happen quickly”

  1. Treadwell says:

    Mate…honestly…this story is dead. It’s not happening. We lost out on Higuain, and Suarez’s agent has cocked this one up big time. Time to move on.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Why is it dead? The window is open, we have money. Liverpool don’t have to sell but it is in their best interests to do so and no overseas club will pay what they want for him. Tell me it is dead on Sept 2nd at 11.05pm

  2. Kidi Emmanuel says:

    Wenger has no any option now than to jump into the transfer market knowing that any thing less than Champion League qualification will be a disaster for both him, the Chairman and board members. He has been handed Fernabache for play off hope he will avoid the repeat of Drogba demolition.

  3. bc says:

    Rooney benzema kiessling lewandowski sanchez eto. Arsenal should slap in an offer for all 6 as well as suarez. Offers ranging from £20m – £45m based on that the deals are completed by 12 august transfer deadline for champs league. We should then slap in offers for 5m less if is completed by 2nd september.
    A similar process but for less money for gustavo gundogan fellaini williams rami sakho cesar would be advisable and then see what happens.

    • Rustycook says:

      Dumb. Much better to prioritise for the best players for each position. Especially considering in this day and age all bids become public pretty quickly.

  4. Dog says:

    Pointless article and frankly stupid question.
    Identify a target, offer the right market price and sign him day 1.
    No rocket science, no Wenger Bullshit just a straight forward transaction.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’m going to update the blog just to deal with this misinformed opinion.

    • Rustycook says:

      Actually this article is well needed. It would be bad if we don’t sign anyone in this transfer window and border disastrous, but naturally it’s dumb to not want to get the best deal possible when signing a player, especially when that player is one of the best in the world and banded for the beginning of the season, it’s people like you who will complain when we don’t have the money to make further big signings. Plus as good as lewandowski, cavani and falco or anyone else we could of or could sign are, proven premier league success really is an invaluable quality when this much money is being spent.
      All people like you are doing is playing into liverpools hands by making it so publicly clear how much pressure Wenger is under to spend. It’s not always easy and shit will hit the fan if we don’t sign anyone but we still have a few weeks to go and knowing Wenger it could all happen a couple of hours after the transfer window has closed. Show some patience man!

  5. fitzy says:

    “Blinkered people”, qui???, have you checked yourself in the mirror my friend? What part of John Henry’s statement was excluded by your blinkers?? He said “we will not sell him to the arse or any other Premier League side whatever they bid. In fact, we will not sell him to a continental team this window because it is too late to buy a replacement”. Suarez trains with our reserves and will rot there this season unless he grovels for inclusion. We will be without him, which would have happened anyway; best of all though is that you lot will have fuck all up front. Henry’s cut your nose off to spite your face and simultaneously bummed Louis without lubrication. RESULT!

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      He said the same thing about Torres mate. Nice to know Liverpool supporters know how to spell their own players names.

    • Rustycook says:

      Lol, that will be a bigger loss for Liverpool than arsenal! Our bosses, unlike yours, haven’t, at least officially said its too late to sign someone else and whatever happens Suarez has already passed the point of no return, the current path just sees Liverpool piss away £40-50m and still get left with nothing. Haha!

  6. Stonroy says:

    Your post is one mother of an assumption as if those are the only two options on offer. How about this… We leave it to the last minute and get above average players. This transfer window is going south very quickly and no matter what way you look at it Arsenal have handled it very very poorly. No one will get fired though because we hold no one accountable.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’m not saying those are the only options available. I’m saying that we failed to get the quality we wanted early on so do we persevere with targeting those top players or settle for lesser talent in order to do our business before the season starts?

  7. jessie pinkman says:

    Mate I think you’re clueless,if they want to sell him then this is when they can accept a low bid if you think they would buckle when the window is almost closed and sell him for 40m to arsenal after we pissed them off mate you are on mars then.I think J.H is full of crap and they want to sell suarez but I just think it aint gonna be us

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thank you for insulting me. I think you have problems reading (see we can both be insulting). The reason I think you have problems reading is because I never said they would accept a low bid nor that they would buckle and sell for £40m. Have a nice day.

  8. Adesola says:

    If only it could be as easy as you’ve stated, then I’d go along with you.

    The thing is the squad and not just the team, needs strengthening as I believe we have a good team, though not great due to the needed positions we should address.
    If Henry goes ahead and decides not to sell Suarez this summer (even if he’d be available for us to buy in January window), what’s the guarantee this team can cope until then?

    No matter how judgemental we might have been about Gervinho’s performance, I believe he’s a good squad member.
    Laying off our so-called ‘deadwood’ without strengthening might get our season off to a slow start especially in the first half of the season. We may end up falling back on our Reserve/Youth Team if our first team players journey down the injury lane.

    Of course, I’d prefer we buy right but what are the guarantees and assurance we have in the market?
    We got so carried away with striking options, we forget to look into other positions, namely GK, CB and DM.

    But then, it never gets easy, does it?
    The hard way is the Arsenal way.

    If we are of the mind to win the Premiership this season, then the fans’ anxiety must be understood.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I’m not saying Suárez should be our only option but you buy for the squad you have and if we plan to have a squad with him in it then it makes logical sense that we would wait to sign him before confirming other targets.

  9. Brazilian says:

    Wenger will never include a single new player in that Champions league qualifiers squard. What a stubborn man!…French manager will never win champions league.No subtitutes upfront,no defence,d mildfield is jampad with no player with strenght…Ha!…Arsene is Heartless

  10. Billious says:

    You’re an idiot. The Torres saga was totally different, he slapped in a transfer request on the last day of the window and The Pony was the only animal available with 2 hours to go. Suarez had been bought to partner the traitor but not as a sole striker that was never his role before. As it turned out the pony was actually a donkey aided and abetted by the ass’s Downing and Henderson. Bought by the way by Comolli not Kenny Dalglish.

    Liverpool are not going to be caught out scrabbling for another striker this late in the window again. Whinger can stick his offers where the sun don’t shine

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thank you for insulting me but I think idiot is a bit strong. It’s nice to see Liverpool fans being civil. Funny really because Arsenal fans are the only other fans that really know what you are going through at the moment. It’s also funny to see how your knowledge of your own club is so limited. Carroll was touted for weeks. Dalglish WANTED him.

      Crow some more on September 2nd.

  11. Bob says:

    Liverpool sold Torres for £50m because he was injured (Chelsea didn’t even give him a medical before he signed) and he had been poor for the previous 12 months. Suarez is a completely different matter. He was brilliant last season and no way would Liverpool want to sell him. There is absolutely no way Arsenal will get Suarez!! Henry is a hard nosed American businessman and he knows he would not be making such categoric statements if he wasn’t going to carry them through.
    Arsenal need to look elsewhere, they’ve got no chance of buying Suarez

  12. Bashayi says:

    It is not yet september ad u said. let us hope we can add atleast two players before midnight of the closing date.

  13. Bashayi says:

    It is not yet september as u said. let us hope we can add atleast two players before midnight of the closing date.

  14. shadi says:

    It’s simple. Last year we were 16 points behind Man-utd. You want to tell me that with the squad we have we are stronger than last year?
    1- we only have 2 fit center backs
    2- Still we have only 1 dm in the team. and he is not getting any younger. oh and he is not actually a defensive midfielder.
    3- we lost many fringe players who we used to call upon injuries.

    Your idea would make sense if Arsenal board woke up on June 1st and discovered; oh we have 70 million lets search for suitable players……
    we are supposed to have the biggest most expensive scouting system that Wenger created. They should have made plans from last year. People use the excuse that man-utd didnt sign players too. But why you compare us to the champions who just changed there coach and WHOLE COACHING STAFF!!!!!

    This is a big failure from any way you look at it, we had a chance to gain momentum by using the fact that all our coaching staff is the same. But the first game is in 7 days and no players were added. no matter how much money we have. we seem to believe there is a different price for players than what the markets use. ITs a good stand but from business prospective that’s a big failure. we will end up with Leftovers every season. sometimes they work out like Cazorla. but most the time it won’t like so many examples we sold this year.

    we need to buy our first option players not the best of Leftovers. We were told the reason we pay the most expensive ticket in the world of football to support the club through its hard time. and this hard time is over…. But is it really?
    The board went out and shot them selves in the foot, to tell fans hey renew you season tickets because we have 70 million pound. and guess what? that’s what Liverpool are asking now for…. Instead of talking the talk? they could finished there business in June by agreeing deals instead of having to beg fans for their support. Actions > talk

  15. El Tel says:

    Liverpool put a player with the ego of Suarez in their reserves and think he will stay. Only time will tell this.

  16. DocBrody says:

    The difference is that John Henry is an American businessman and Wenger is a French football manager. Whatever you may think of Americans, businessmen like Henry don’t get very far if they don’t talk straight and stand by their words. Its a cultural thing with them. The French are a bit more nuanced and sophisticated, so there is always some wiggle room. Add to that the fact that Wenger can be overruled by his boss (which likely happened in Nasri’s case) whereas there is no one and nothing to overrule Henry (not even a buyout provision as was the case with Torres).

    This deal is dead. Suarez is a Liverpool player at least until January. The only way he leaves LFC is if a replacement striker falls in their lap. Even then, he wont be going to Arsenal.

  17. Tomas says:

    And what about player’sfamilies, wifes and kids. And let’s not forget their pet dog and cat or hamster, or if a player has a pet snake and the climate is to cold and dry for snake’s skin. So see, there are at least nine or ten parties that have to be satisfied for the transfer to take place.

  18. Hi all
    Liverpool fan here. Not here to insult because this whole saga is getting sickening. I am witnessing a chasm of disrespect developing between Arsenal and Liverpool fans. And because of who? Suarez. He really is not worth it. And you guys should know having experienced similar player defections and disloyalty. Liverpool may sell. It really does not matter. What is clear is that it will not be to Arsenal. End of. However much you want to compare the Torres situation with Suarez (and you are so far of the mark), Liverpool see it as a self-inflicting wound to sell to a direct rival for 4th spot. And that is the essence of it. If Wenger is waiting for to increase or decrease a bid for Suarez, he will be very disappointed at the outcome. Liverpool are beginning to display a set of balls that clubs like Man City (Tevez), Man U (Rooney) and Spurs (Modric) did. They should be congratulated for countering player power. To state that the value of Suarez will drop if liverpool does not sell is untrue, wishful thinking. He was bought for £22.7m. Do you really see is value falling below that? No, he will still have a high value albeit less than £55m. He will not rot in the rserves. It is world cup season, he will buckle down and play. He would also put in a sterling display if only to ensure a foreign club come in for him at the end of next season. I wish both Liverpool and Arsenal the very best for next season. But I must confess, it is Spurs I fear as they have quietly gone about their business buying players and strengthening their team.

  19. Manas says:

    Some of the replied to the post are absolutely hilarious Daniel.haha
    A good article nonetheless. I’m patient and agree with the points you made. Simply because big deal take time and we have to deal with it. Also, get a feeling that Suarez’ deal dictates the budget for other deals too, hence the lack of in-comings thus far.

    Anyway, another level-headed post. Kudos

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