There is undoubtedly an element of the self-destructive about Luis Suarez. After an award-winning and almost title-winning season with Liverpool, the Uruguayan was just inches away from winning a degree of affection from the English footballing public.
The Reds have backed Suarez through his countless trials and tribulations. Admittedly, they knew what kind of character they were taking on when they signed him from Ajax, not long after he had received a seven-game ban for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakk.
The rest, of course, is history. He was handed a lengthy – though evidently not length enough – suspension for allegedly racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Then, for the second time, he was found guilty of biting an opponent. Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic was the unfortunate victim then, but nobody thought he would do it again.
After his latest attack on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, Liverpool must seriously be weighing up whether his numerous pros outweigh his well-publicised cons. Suarez is a liability, and constantly requires being defended to the hilt.
FIFA have imposed a four month ban from all football, a nine match ban from international football and a £65,800 fine, on the striker despite the player and Uruguayan FA pleading his case.
The ban has unfairly affected Liverpool directly, not to mention the damage to the club’s reputation which cannot be undone.
It is the Anfield outfit that pay the majority of his wages, and they have already sustained considerable embarrassment in the past because of his antics.
However, his undeniable talent places the club in a perilous position whereby it would be nigh on suicidal to part company with the flesh-eating hit man.
While he would certainly have no shortage of suitors, his infamous behaviour could also see his value decrease.
He was never going to return to a hero’s welcome in England, having effectively scored the goals that knocked the Three Lions out of the World Cup at the first hurdle. After Uruguay’s 2-1 victory over England, he bemoaned the criticism levelled at him by Britain’s notoriously anti-biting media.
A new start in Europe would at least get them off his back for the time being, with Spain rumoured to be his preferred destination.
If Liverpool harbour any hope of going one better and winning the Premier League next season, at present they are almost entirely dependent on his services. Should he stay on Merseyside, manager Brendan Rodgers must come to terms with the fact that he is not going to change.
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