Arsenal's pursuit of Luis Suarez offers a slight hint of 'desperation', according to Alan Smith, but the former Gunner admits the Liverpool striker is just the type of recruit the north London club need to make.
Suarez has been the subject of two offers from Arsenal so far this summer, but Liverpool have resisted the temptation to sell the unsettled Uruguayan, who they maintain will stay at Anfield.
Arsenal made their most recent offer of £40,000,01 of the understanding it would allow them to speak to the player, although Liverpool interpreted the stipulation of Suarez's contract differently to himself and his suitors.
Suarez is now prepared to challenge Liverpool's stance with the Premier League in the hope of forcing a transfer to Arsenal, but his current employers are prepared to stand firm.
The interest of Arsenal in Suarez represents a change in tack in the transfer market from the usually frugal Arsene Wenger, while the Frenchman has also been reluctant in the past to pursue players with such tarnished reputations.
But, says Smith, this 'desperation' from the Arsenal manager to recruit such a controversial player is perfectly, with Wenger striving to end a trophy drought that has now lasted for over eight years.
"Obviously he has blotted his copybook on a few occasions, whether he would continue to, whether Arsene Wenger in a different environment would make him behave in a different way, I don't know. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one," he said at a Sky Sports press event.
"From Arsenal's point of view, there is a slight hint of desperation in it, you are taking a chance if you are going to sign someone like Suarez.
"But Arsenal now are desperate to end that trophy drought. They want to go for players with the maximum ability, he's a top, top player we all know that. He's almost turning a blind eye to the other side of his character."
Despite his reservations about Suarez as a person, however, Smith believes the 26-year-old would be an ideal acquisition for Arsenal, although he doubts a deal will be able to be concluded.
"He's of a character I think that Arsenal have needed over the last few years, that they haven't had," the former Arsenal striker added.
"That nastiness, that aggressiveness he has, that will to win. There aren't too many within the Arsenal squad that are like that. It marks a sea change from Arsene Wenger I think that he is after people like that.
"I think he's probably realised that in order to end that drought, he needs to head in a slightly different direction. So it's encouraging from that point of view, not so encouraging to hear Liverpool's statement on the subject... you know it's pretty emphatic."
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