Buy now or buy right? Suárez won’t happen quickly
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.
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 https://www.bwin.com.”
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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