Luis Suarez's unpredictable tendencies caused some minor debate as to whether or not he would join up with his club ahead of Liverpool's match against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday. Suarez has never gone AWOL while embroiled in previous controversies, but with such a huge geographical distance existing between him and the club while he was in Brazil representing Uruguay during the Confederations Cup, there was some concern that absence might make his heart grow more distant, not fonder.
As predicted by Brendan Rodgers earlier — "He's on the plane and we will see him in Melbourne," the gaffer said — Suarez arrived safe and assumedly sound in Australia early Sunday afternoon, ahead of his teammates who were still en route from Jakarta. Rodgers didn't pull any punches about his expectations for Suarez.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him, he's a player I've always supported," Rodgers said. "I understand the situation but the bottom line is he is employed by the club. The money goes into his bank at the end of every month, so he should be here. If he's not, which I doubt, there will be a problem."
Rodgers and his new found bluntness just wrapped up their first Melbourne press conference, where the third question out of the gate was on the conversation Luis Suarez was to have with Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre earlier this morning about the Uruguayan's future with the club. Rodgers quickly revealed the conversation hadn't yet happened but that he was cool, calm, and collected about Suarez's role within the team. Suarez likewise is in "great spirits" now that he's reunited with the club, and the pair of them are apparently one Coke bottle away from being a Norman Rockwell picture of happiness.
The fact that we're bothering to provide an update on the success of Suarez's air travels suggests this saga is reaching Ryan Babel's helicopter levels of silliness. There is a tidal wave or rumours and fan conjecture crashing relentlessly across the interwebs now that Suarez has arrived in Australia, all of which are so far removed from having any credible source that I don't feel comfortable mentioning them even with liberal use of the word "allegedly."
For now we'll be content with the knowledge that Luis Suarez, consummate professional, showed up as expected. Rodgers says Suarez will train with the club later today, but it remains to be seen whether not he'll be fit enough to participate in Wednesday's match or if fans will have to be satisfied some other level of "involvement" from the player. We hope for the sake of our Australian community members that the former proves to be true.