Despite new signing Romelu Lukaku banging in the goals, Gary Neville has urged Manchester United to sign Luis Suárez. But where would he play and where would the move leave the Belgian hitman?
José Mourinho prioritised the signing of a striker in the summer transfer window and eventually beat Chelsea in the race to sign Lukaku. The signing came out of the blue and the moved angered Antonio Conte who believed everything was in place for Lukaku to sign for Chelsea. As a result, Chelsea landed Álvaro Morata, a player United rejected in favour of the former Everton striker.
Despite this, Lukaku was never Mourinho’s first choice. He spent the previous 12 months chasing Antoine Griezmann, a player he may well have landed had it not been for Atlético’s transfer ban. This move would have made sense for United, as Griezmann’s overall gameplay would have added a touch of flair to a fairly functional side.
Like Griezmann, Luis Suárez has everything. Since joining Barcelona in 2014, he has scored an incredible 123 goals in 154 appearances and added a further 72 assists. But Suárez also works hard off the ball – he chases down lost causes, defends for his side and understands the pressing game.
If Suárez was to move to Old Trafford, it’s likely he would operate as a central striker, with Paul Pogba playing in the hole, supported by one or two wide men. The combination of Pogba and Suárez would be a truly delicious combination and one that would help bring back the sense of excitement that has been lacking since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Introducing a system like this would likely mean Lukaku would be reduced to substitute appearances at United. But this would be harsh on the big Belgian who, so far, has shown that he is more than capable of leading the line for one of the biggest clubs in world football. The alternative solution to this and, one that would keep everyone happy, is to play the pair up front together, with Pogba playing in behind – in the number 10 position.
Lukaku’s hold up play can be fantastic at times. He’s great at winning flick ons, and he’s a nightmare to defend against. Suárez on the other hand, is great at running in behind, loves putting defenders under pressure and will chase down every ball flicked through to him. On paper, this could be a dream partnership – an old school front two that both know how to score goals.
At first suggestion, this transfer seems outrageous, due to Suárez’s Liverpool connections, however crazier deals have happened. José Mourinho managed to convince Chelsea to let Matić go and there is no reason why he can’t convince Barcelona to let one of their prized assets leave, if the money is right.