For much of the summer it looked as though Luis Suarez would be spending the coming season elsewhere, and while it's still entirely possible that he ends up elsewhere after the January window, it feels a little strange to consider the fact that he'll be back in contention for a spot in the starting eleven in a little over two weeks' time. From lock to leave to sure starter, it's been a long and strange ride with Suarez over the past few months.
Which means that there's not going to be an easy or clearly right way to welcome him back. I'm not really sure what I feel toward him at this point other than indifference; I feel very happy with the squad and think he will obviously make Liverpool better, but I also know that enduring the back-and-forth this summer drained me of just about all of the emotion I had left toward Luis Suarez. You're free to be excited and happy and disappointed and disgusted and etc., because nobody can tell you what you should feel. Unless it's maybe Lucas.
Daniel Agger's pretty much in Lucas territory when it comes to giving advice that should be heeded always in every situation, and for his part the return of Suarez--along with the rest of the business done over the summer--leaves the club in good stead as they hope to compete near the top of the table this season:
"It is positive that we kept Suarez. Anyone who knows his qualities on the field can see that he is a player we need. It has been a successful transfer window for us. We have been provided players with quality and that is what you want. I have not seen everyone in action, but what I have seen so far is very positive. We'll need to play a few more matches before we see if we can be at the forefront and compete for trophies. We've made a good start, but we need to keep it up. We have got things in order. We haven't conceded goals and that's always helpful, because then you don't need to score many goals yourself."
Unfortunately lacking instructions as to what feelings I should be feeling, it's at least a frank and honest assessment of what Suarez will offer and how the new boys are lining up. Liverpool do need Suarez to add quality and creativity, and those that have been added have either already acquitted themselves well or appear to be important pieces of the squad moving forward.
And, as Brendan Rodgers reminded us yesterday, there's plenty left to be done before Liverpool can start patting each other on the backs, even if Luis Suarez is set to return shortly.