After 691 votes, the Arsenal-loving public decided by the narrowest of margins that Luis Suarez is worth buying – exactly 51% being in favour and 49% against.
I’m sure that even those who voted ‘No’ recognise that the bitey one is quite talented. Now call me old-fashioned, but if I did a poll on whether we should buy Higuain (another South American of a similar age and goalscoring ability, though without Premier League experience, but cheaper), you can bet that a much bigger percentage would be saying ‘Yes’. We are so starved of big signings over the past few years that you could link Arsenal with anyone in the £20m-plus bracket and the player would get a giant thumbs-up worthy of Paul McCartney himself from 90 per cent of Arsenal fans.
So the fact Suarez only just had more plusses on the board than minusses tells you that he has baggage the size of Victoria Beckham on a year long cruise.
I don’t want him. He’s not worth the effort when you can almost get Higuain and Fellaini for the same money (assuming Madrid will sell, of course – I think Everton would). Suarez will miss the first six league matches, he’s bound to fall foul of the football lawmakers at some time later in the season and as soon as he’s had enough at Arsenal he’ll manufacture an incident, claim everyone is victimising him and bugger off again. Is that what you want? Because that’s what’ll happen. And we’ll lose money on him too. I would really rather buy no one than buy Suarez.
Talking of which, it really would not surprise me if that happened and we bought no one, or at least no one in the £10m-plus range – I’m sure there will be one or two lower end buys either way. But Arsene is just not interested in spending for the sake of it. He has his ideas on how the squad works together, and if the exact player he wants isn’t available, then he may believe it’s better to stick with what he has than disrupt the balance of the squad. And I would say that however frustrating that is, over the years we can be grateful he works like that rather than in the ‘buy everyone!’ manner of a Redknapp or Hughes.
In my opinion Arsene sticks too rigidly to his own concept of value, when flexibility to get the right player is fine as long as you have the money. But he hasn’t spent as much as he could have in the last four transfer windows at least, so it would not be a huge surprise if he didn’t this time either.
Saying all that, the rumour is that he is upping the Suarez bid to £35m, so perhaps 51% of us will soon be happy with our new signing. Personally I won’t be cheering for Suarez even if he’s in an Arsenal shirt come August. There’s no way I can bring myself to do that.