According to reports from Football Insider, Liverpool have identified and ‘set their sights’ on Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli in what could be the ultimate revenge for the Luis Suarez saga of 2013.
Oh, how the tables have turned. Let’s rewind back seven years ago. Arsenal had successfully obtained yet another top-four finish with their sights then looming to a serious title charge for the 2013/14 summer window.
After losing Robin van Persie to Manchester United, the Gunners were yet to adequately replace a striker who had scored 132 goals during his eight years with the club. Arsene Wenger needed a marquee signing that would finally get fans believing that they could claim their first league title since 2004.
Liverpool, on the other hand, had just finished their inaugural season under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea City manager had a topsy-turvy opening campaign to his Reds tenure. The club had finished seventh in the league – 12 points off 4th placed Arsenal – and were heavily reliant on talisman Suarez for the majority of the 2012/13 season.
The Uruguay international was seriously questioning his future at Anfield with the legitimacy of Liverpool competing for silverware increasingly under threat. Arsenal could sense the Reds’ vulnerability in being able to convince Suarez to stay and what followed was one of the most controversial transfer sagas in history.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
Arsenal made their intentions known and launched a club-record bid of £40m plus £1 (yes, you heard that right. A POUND!) for the Liverpool striker. The quite frankly ludicrous offer was immediately rejected from the Reds who felt the bid was a serious sign of disrespect from the north-London club.
Liverpool were severely enraged by the approach and deemed that under no circumstances Suarez would be sold to the Emirates Stadium. As we know, the club stuck to their word and kept the former Ajax star at the Anfield helm for another year.
The following season saw a parallel in fortunes for the two clubs as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League table – just two points off the title that season. The Reds also dished out their own form of revenge to Arsenal following their 5-1 mauling over the Gunners in February 2014.
Suarez would eventually move on to Barcelona whilst Arsenal haven’t registered a higher points total since. The regression of the club has been vast – oh how things may have been different for Arsenal had they treated the Suarez saga with a touch of class.
The two teams are now a polar opposite in terms of success. The European champions and Premier League champions-elect are currently 34 points clear of the Gunners – despite having played two matches less – and are also looking to progress to their third consecutive Champions League final.
Liverpool’s interest in Martinelli represents the ultimate turning of the tide and supporters should soak up every minute. Arsenal supporters would be lying to themselves if they weren’t worried by the Reds’ reported interest.
Kopites will never forget how Suarez saga unfolded all those years ago. If Liverpool were to snatch one of Arsenal’s greatest current assets it truly would prove the ultimate revenge.