Skyrocketing form and an unrivaled return in front of goal placed Luis Suarez firmly at the center of our joys and anxieties throughout the fall. The club had done well to keep him over the summer despite his very vocal desire to go elsewhere, but with January approaching, speculation grew that there would be a big money bid by one of Europe's elite. Not cup-tied and playing at the peak of his powers, Suarez would easily be the most expensive player in the window, and given his current form, he'd have been worth every penny.
Only now we're talking about that as a fantasy, as the club today confirmed that Suarez has agreed a new long-term deal that will likely see him become Liverpool's highest-paid player by some distance at a rumored £200k per week:
"I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term. We have some great players and the team is growing and improving all the time. I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible. Without doubt the backing I have received from the Liverpool fans has influenced my decision. I am so proud to represent them and go out to do my best for them every time I pull on the shirt. We have a special relationship; they have love for me and in return I love them back. I will always do my best for them and hopefully we can achieve success together."
This is unequivocally good news for Liverpool, even it comes as something of a false front for those talking about how this settles his long-term future. It assuages concerns about a potential January exit, of course, but beyond that it doesn't change much of anything other than the likely inclusion of a release clause that would see the club sweetly compensated in the summer of 2014 should they miss out on European football this season. Luis Suarez will be playing elsewhere if Liverpool don't find a way into the Champions League at season's end, and there's likely little the club can do to deny that reality other than what they've almost certainly done here--drive the price for a release clause as high as humanly possible, and compensate him ridiculously until then.
That's a plain and simple reality in modern football and etc., but we can leave the hand-wringing and pessimism for another day. Liverpool have found a way to secure the future of the league's best player twice in the span of six months, and if evidence from the fall is any indication, that's a very, very good thing. To have done so ahead of a crucial stretch in their season is even better, and hopefully it pays off as the club look to not only secure the future of their best player, but their ambitions of finishing in the top four.