How Liverpool can avoid fate of Spurs and Man U after Suarez

Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Harwood

Reds have already signed four players this summer, but Brendan Rodgers has an Anfield plan

Clive Rose/Getty Images

On the day that Barcelona confirmed the purchase of Luis Suarez, Liverpool began life without him by losing 2-1 to Norwegian side Brondby in a pre-season friendly.

And although Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant that his plans for the Anfield club will not be derailed by the striker's exit he also admitted that the club had done everything in their power to keep the Uruguayan but had been powerless to stop him moving.

He leaves a "huge void" in the Liverpool team and its psyche, says Luke Edwards in the Daily Telegraph. "Suarez was not only the best striker in European football last season, his very presence in the side lifted those around him." 

Liverpool must not only find a new striker they must rebuild much of their mystique.

The Reds have already begun spending the £75m that Barcelona have paid for Suarez but, as Spurs discovered last season after offloading Gareth Bale, replacing a superstar is no easy task.

Spurs endured a torrid time after bringing in half-a-dozen new faces to try and fill the void left by Bale. And Tottenham are not the only club to have suffered in this way. Some trace Man United's gradual decline back to the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool also went through a period of turmoil following the exit of Fernando Torres in 2011.

"It can take teams a while to recover from such a high profile departure, but not every side falters after selling their star player," says Edwards. "Arsenal have persistently shown they can cope with losing key figures, but their lack of title success should serve as a warning to all Liverpool fans this summer."

Liverpool have brought four players already this summer and some have drawn parallels with Spurs. But former Spurs and Liverpool defender John Scales sees things differently. He told the Daily Express: "[Liverpool boss] Rodgers enjoys a structure and organisation behind him that is much more stable than [Andre] Villas-Boas had at Spurs.

"He has the strength of character to be able to bring new players into alignment with his current system and the back-up to help him do it."

Certainly, Rodgers is bullish about the upcoming campaign. "Any sense of loss over the departure of last season's outstanding Barclays Premier League performer has been tempered by Rodgers's confidence that Liverpool can still improve in his absence," says The Times.

Rodgers said that he had lost key players before but added "always, after that, my teams have been better teams".

Barcelona, meanwhile, confirmed the arrival of Suarez in a low-key press conference. They were denied permission to unveil him at the Camp Nou because the player's four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup includes a stadium ban.

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