Things were going so well for Brendan Rodgers.
After a testing start to his reign at Anfield, with players like Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll not deemed to be of sufficient quality to wear the Liverpool shirt, new signings Fabio Borini and Oussama Assaidi struggling to make an impact and results indifferent, the ex-Swansea boss appeared to have steered Liverpool into calmer waters with a bright future appearing on the horizon.
The winter window was far more productive, with Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho making instant impacts, the aforementioned Henderson and Downing adapting to the new manager’s system, and results picking up, if not quite reaching title winning form.
A few issues in defence need to be ironed out during the remainder of the season and with one or two signings in the summer, plus a settled pre-season, Liverpool could attack the new campaign with confidence and determination. Then Luis Suarez dropped a bombshell.
Or did he? In today’s hype-lead media world, Suarez’s comments will gain much attention. According to reports, Suarez said: "If Bayern Munich makes an offer I would certainly be willing to listen and think about it.
"It doesn't mean I will definitely leave, it just means that I will not automatically reject other clubs."
Suarez is not agitating for a move, but he would be foolish to rule one out altogether. The reality is that the Bayern Munich of today is a step above its Liverpool equivalent. Suarez has the talent that should be shown on the biggest stage – the Champions League – and Liverpool cannot offer that.
The Uruguayan has carried Liverpool almost single-handedly for the last couple of years, being at the heart of all that was good and bad about the club. He scored goals, he missed chances, he created goals, and he generally entertained The Kop with his unpredictability, fabulous dribbling skills and invention.
The pressure on the former Ajax forward’s shoulders has been reduced with those January additions, but for how much longer can he wait for Liverpool to climb back to the level they once were?
Bayern Munich are dominating the Bundesliga, currently sitting 17 points clear with only 11 games remaining. They dominated Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League tie at the Emirates, and while Arsenal are struggling, Bayern were extremely impressive.
They will win trophies, medals, titles, and have established themselves as one of Europe’s leading clubs. With Barcelona 2-0 down to AC Milan, and Real Madrid only drawing at home to Manchester United, Bayern could soon find themselves installed as favourites for the Champions League. They have reached the final twice in the last three years and lost out on penalties to Chelsea last time in Munich.
Liverpool have supported Suarez through the rough and the smooth, most notably through the Patrice Evra racism row, but for how long should Suarez put off his own personal ambitions while the Liverpool recovery continues? To add to the conundrum is the fact Suarez is represented by a company owned by Pere Guardiola, whose brother Pep is the next Bayern manager.
The Bavarians certainly have the resources to pay a big price for Suarez, something that could tempt Rodgers and the Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, into selling and then using the proceeds to reinvest in the squad.
The longer Liverpool miss out on Champions League football, the harder it will be for the club to progress, and the harder it will be to keep world class players like Luis Suarez.
Bayern Munich are one of the biggest teams in the world and very few players would turn them down outright. Suarez has made it clear he is not one of them.
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