BPL Transfer Notebook: Luis Suarez is off to Barcelona, Arsenal Sign Alexis Sanchez, more

IMAGE, LIVERPOOL.CO.UK

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

He may not be able to take a bite out of La Liga right away, but it didn’t stop Barcelona from taking on Luis Suarez.

The deal is believed to be around $128 million, which is the third largest transfer in history and the largest for a South American born player. Suarez will add to a Barca attack that already has the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar. However, the Uruguayan will miss the first four months of the season due to his suspension after biting Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup.

Suarez has seen stays at Groningen and Ajax before Liverpool, where he led the league with 31 goals. In an official club statement, Barcelona said,   “The 17th Uruguayan to play for FC Barcelona is not just a prolific scorer, he also has a strong competitive spirit and is a powerful figure and he’s coming to Barça in search of even more. Luis Suárez thus adds his name to the impressive list of world class strikers that have played for the club in recent years, and is the fifth to have arrived with a Golden Boot among his honors.”

Liverpool’s attack was rampant last season with the combination of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. With a hefty transfer fee received, the Merseyside club will undoubtedly be looking for another top striker to replace the outgoing Suarez. While the club already has landed Rickie Lambert from Southampton earlier in the summer, he isn’t enough firepower to replace the Uruguayan.

“The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool. It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges. We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends,” said Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers in a statement addressing the transfer.

In a statement of his own, Suarez addressed the opportunity to head to Spain where his wife’s family lives was a “lifelong dream and ambition.”

He also said, “It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city.

“But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.”

While Liverpool loses a special talent, they also are relieved of the headaches that having Suarez in the squad creates. The striker missed the early stages of the previous Barclays Premier League season as well and had he been available for the full campaign, Liverpool just might have been crowned champions.

Despite losing Suarez, the club still believes it’s moving in the right direction to achieve the halcyon days when Liverpool were a dominant force in the league in the late 70s-80s.

“If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual. I hope our supporters continue to dream and believe that we are moving forward and with continued improvement and progression, together we will bring the success we all crave and deserve,”

Arsenal Ink Alexis Sanchez

Fresh off of helping Chile in to the quarterfinals, Alexis Sanchez is swapping his red Chile shirt for a red Arsenal shirt. The Barclay’s Premier League club announced the deal on Thursday that sees Sanchez join the EPL side from Barcelona.

The 25-year-old has spent the last three seasons in La Liga, where he made 88 appearances and scored 39 goals. Sanchez will fill a massive need for the Gunners, which lacked a stronger option behind Olivier Giroud or a striker to play alongside the Frenchman. The Chilean can also play in wider positions.

With Arsenal looking to build on their FA Cup triumph of last season, Sanchez brings a winning pedigree. After starting his career at Cobreloa in north Chile, he moved to Colo-Colo and won the 2007 Chilean Premier League title. He then moved to Argentine club River Plate on loan, where he lifted an Argentinean Premier League title as well.

He left South America for Serie A club Udinese, where he spent three seasons, scoring 20 goals from 95 appearances, before his switch to Barcelona in 2011. At the Catalan club, he won both La Liga in 2012/13 and the Copa del Rey in 2012, as well as the Spanish Super Cup on two occasions in 2011 and 2013, the UEFA Super Cup in 2011 and the FIFA Club World Cup the same year.

The striker, who has scored 24 goals in 71 appearances for Chile, signing continues Arsenal’s intentions of spending for world-class talent.

In an official statement, Arsene Wenger said, “As many people have seen during the World Cup this summer, Alexis is a fantastic footballer and we are delighted that he is joining us at Arsenal Football Club.

“Alexis will add power, creativity and much quality to our squad and we are all looking forward to him joining up with us in a few weeks. He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him integrate into the Arsenal squad. I’m sure all Arsenal supporters will join me in welcoming Alexis to our club.”

Sanchez was in London on Thursday to complete his medical and will begin training with the club at the end of July, as he will take a vacation following the World Cup. That will make him unavailable for the July 26th friendly against the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Sanchez will see action in the Emirates Cup in the beginning of August.

Of the move, Sanchez said,  “I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad of players, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London. I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy.”

Transfer Chatter

1. Arsenal nearing more signings?- The Gunners are still expected to sign Mathieu Debuchy and look set to try to make a move for German midfielder Sami Khedira. Arsenal are looking to improve on their fourth place finish in the league as well as add more silverware after breaking their drought with a FA Cup triumph last season. (From the Daily Mail)

2. Liverpool looks to replace Suarez with Wilfried Bony– The Reds have drawn the ire of Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins as it’s believed Liverpool are talking to the Ivorian striker to replace Suarez. However, there has been no official approach to the Swans about any pending transfer from Liverpool. (From the Daily Mail)

3. An Angel to the Red Devils?- Manchester United have secured the signings of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and appear to be heading near a third signing under the newly-appointed Luis van Gaal. The newest potential signing could be Argentine Angel Di Maria, who is believed to have reached personal terms with the Manchester Club. (From the Daily Star)

4. Pogba feeling Blues?– French midfielder Paul Pogba was spotted in London, which has fueled rumors of a move to Chelsea. The Blues have already inked Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. (From the Independent)

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