Luis Suarez no longer merits a place in Liverpool's team

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Luis Suarez is hated by many people for a whole host of different things, but even the most vehement of his critics cannot deny the invaluable influence he's had at Anfield.

Since his move to Liverpool the ever-controversial striker has proved his worth on the pitch time and again, serving as perhaps the only over-achiever in a frankly fairly average side for the past two seasons.

However the side developed by Brendan Rodgers is far less flawed than the one he inherited, and the era of Suarez carrying Liverpool's hope on his shoulders has been ushered out with startling emphasis.

The Uruguayan, more famous for his unprofessional actions or penchant for garnering negative headlines than his lethal goalscoring prowess, was banned for ten matches at the end of last season for biting Branislav Ivanovic, painting a very bleak outlook for the majority of Kopites.

But what's transpired since has been anything but a source of pessimism for Liverpool, with the side enjoying a brilliant start to the season and Daniel Sturridge picking up Suarez's mantle in front of goal.

With Suarez now set to return to duty though, one wonders how he will re-enter the fold, and what sort of role he can hope to have?

For me Suarez no longer merits a place in Liverpool's team. His controversial antics and damning behaviour were to some degree excused whilst he was Liverpool's only realistic threat, but now that Rodgers has built a squad based on the principles of team-work and togetherness, the 26-year-old cannot lay claim to a guaranteed berth in the starting line-up.

If anything Suarez's return could prove to be a disturbance to what has been a Liverpool side exulting confidence and picking up momentum with every passing game. In his absence Sturridge has proved clinical and capable of scoring goals consistently, and the team has not seemed the least bit bereft of spark whilst he's been sidelined.

Although the former Ajax striker is undeniably gifted, his attitude towards the game and his ability to bring trouble to his side heavily outweigh his benefits. Rodgers should make Suarez work to regain his spot in the side and prove that he can adapt to the new persona that Liverpool have taken on this campaign. If he can't then he should be sold, just as anyone else would be in his position.

The fact that the Reds' faithful and his teammates have stuck by him almost religiously throughout all of his shortcomings is testament to their patience rather than a deserved mark of respect.

For this new-look Rodgers' outfit, who have thus far greatly exceeded the pre-seasonal expectations laid out for them, the addition of a figure who is both used to being the main man and who for the most part becomes more trouble than he's worth, is unnecessary and dangerous to their ambitions.

Whilst he remains he'll always be the name of everyone's lips, but there comes a point where Rodgers must realise that the overall harmony of the squad must come before the individual abilities of one man.

I'm not saying sell him and strengthen your rivals, nor am I saying force him to train with the reserves. My opinion however is that Suarez gave up his right to waltz into the starting eleven when he failed to recognise and adhere to the ethos of the club he turns out for each week.

If he cannot evolve to fit into Rodgers' side then shipping him out before he can do anymore damage may be the only choice.

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Luis Suarez
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