The Reds legend would like to see the Uruguayan frontman return to Anfield, but does not consider another number nine to be a top priority
Liverpool have seen a move to take Luis Suarez back to Anfield mooted, with Reds legend John Barnes saying the prolific Uruguayan could be “ideal” for Jurgen Klopp if acquired as a free agent.
A summer switch away from Atletico Madrid has been speculated on for the 34-year-old frontman, who has spent the last seven years in Spain after securing a big-money move to Barcelona from Merseyside in 2014.
Suarez hit 82 goals through 133 appearances during his time with Liverpool, making him a firm fans’ favourite, and Barnes says doors would be swung open for the South American again if the option of re-signing him presented itself.
What has been said?
Barnes, speaking in association with BonusCodeBets, told Goal: “If they could get Luis on a free transfer that’d be ideal but it’ll come down to whether Luis says he wants to play every week or he’ll be happy to move across and be part of the squad. But, because of his age, I don’t think he could expect to be playing every week.
“The tricky things with these type of transfers is that you have to be pretty certain that the player in question isn’t going to upset things.
“Liverpool needs to recreate their team spirit and togetherness and, in order to do so, the players need to be happy with where they are and level of play. If Luis can do this, then great – get him on board.
“As a player, I think he’s always given 100 per cent, and he’s a decent enough character in terms of trying all the time without being disruptive. So, yeah, that wouldn’t be a bad move for Liverpool.
“And I’m sure the fans would absolutely love to get Luis back and I do wonder if they may kick off if they feel that he isn’t getting enough airtime!”
Do Liverpool need another striker?
Change in the final third at Anfield is being discussed as the finishing touches are put to a testing 2020-21 campaign.
Exit talk has surfaced around the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, while further attacking targets are said to have been identified.
Suarez would fall into that category, with there plenty of calls for Klopp to land another number nine to compete with Roberto Firmino, while Leeds winger Raphinha, Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho and Wolves star Pedro Neto are also said to be in the Reds’ sights.
Pressed on whether a striker should be prioritised over another creative wideman, Barnes said: “To be honest, to get another proven goalscorer to Liverpool, in my view, won’t make much difference to the team apart from bringing in some fresh blood.
“All that’ll happen is that players such as Salah won’t score the same level of goals as it’ll be split amongst more players.
“And at the end of the day, scoring goals hasn’t been Liverpool’s problem this season in terms of winning matches – as they have scored plenty of goals. The issues have been with the defensive play. And, as we know, in order to win matches we need both to run seamlessly.
“As with so many other teams, we always seem to focus on signing players who either score the goals or create the opportunities instead of focusing on getting the defence right and solid. And that’s Liverpool’s problem!
“So yes, to sign Raphinha would be great. But, more importantly, we need to get [Virgil] van Dijk and [Joe] Gomez back, and to then have someone creative such as Raphinha that will help us a lot; perhaps even more so than having Luis back at the team.”