With confirmation today that transfer terms have been agreed and Luis Suarez will become a Barcelona player in the next week, it can be tempting at a Liverpool fan to want to move on quickly. Suarez was one of the most talented players to ever wear the shirt—arguably even the most talented. He was also utterly exhausting.
The controversies, the bites, the FA charges and the transfer sagas. That he spent last summer pushing for a move to Arsenal for £40M+1 after his desires to leave for Real Madrid weren't reciprocated by the Spanish giants. There's no getting around that he was a frustrating, infuriating, exhausting player to support.
He was also, inarguably, an exceptional talent, the Premier League's player of the season and, in the end, one of the top three attackers in the world. Today, Liverpool fans say goodbye to both sides of Luis Suarez. And Suarez, whether you trust him to be sincere in his sentiment or not, says goodbye to Liverpool.
"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain," he said in a prepared statement. "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."
Liverpool fans for the most part always supported him, yes. Yet after last summer's tiresome transfer saga and his latest controversial moment on the pitch this summer at the World Cup, for many it will be easy to move on. Certainly for Saurez, getting the move he's always dreamed of should help with moving on, too.
"I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision," he said. "This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right. The club is in great hands and I'm sure will be successful again next season.
"I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League. Thank you again for some great moments and memories."
For many fans, that sentimentwill about mirror their own feelings. So thanks, Luis Suarez, for some great moments and memories. For some great goals and nutmegs; for some sublime moments of individual skill. That talent will most certainly be missed.
That talent doesn't exist in a vacuum, though. It cannot exist separate from the biting and the controversy and the agitating for moves away. And so while we will remember some of the great moments and memories, we will not perhaps remember Suarez himself with the same fondness as some ex-reds.
Thanks for the goals, though, Luis. And for helping to get Liverpool back into the Champions League.