by Nia Griffiths
In Luis Suarez’s autobiography, Luis Suarez: Crossing the line, the forward talks about his decision not to join Arsenal when we made the infamous offer to Liverpool in 2013.
Suarez reveals he was very upset by the big bad British press chastising him after he racially abused Patrice Evra and then bit Branislav Ivanociv the next year. He felt run out of the country and wanted to move away from Liverpool where he was constantly harassed and abused for his actions, which he feels he’s apologised enough for.
When a bid came in from Arsenal, the desire to play Champion’s League football turned the forward’s head.
“There were clubs that showed an interest, but only one officially made a bid that went over the £40m threshold: Arsenal,” he said. “This was not going to get any less complicated and the deeper in I got, the more torn I became, the more confused and unsure, but one idea kept resurfacing: I have to go. I wanted out because I wanted out of England, but there was also my frustration at not being able to play in the Champions League.”
He continued, “Because Arsenal had emerged as the club most interested in signing me, I started to wonder whether a change of city might have the same effect as a change of country. I told myself that it’s easier for players to become anonymous in London and that was what I wanted.”
However, he then remembered that London is still in England and therefore, if he wanted to move out of the country then London would simply not do.
“Going to Arsenal had the potential to be even worse. I would still be in the same country only I would have Liverpool fans against me as well as everybody else.”
He also acknowledged that the hatred of the Liverpool fans would’ve been too much to take.
Suarez goes on to reassure everyone (himself) that not joining Arsenal was a good decision, claiming, “I’ve never really thought about what would have happened if Liverpool had accepted Arsenal’s bid. Would I have become an Arsenal player? I would have regretted it…”
Good old Steven Gerrard assured him that they would get Champion’s League football the next season, and they did. Oddly enough, Suarez still wasn’t happy though.
Fortunately, Barcelona rode in on their stallion the following season to save Suarez from his torturous existence in the Premier League.