With the attention of the world fixed on Luis Suarez’s latest act of cannibalism, most are focusing on the impact this will have on Uruguay’s chances at the World Cup.
How about Suarez’s club side, Liverpool?
The 2013-14 Premier League runners up now have one heck of a dilemma on their hands, as soccer’s serial bad boy is their pride and joy. Their view on Suarez’s bite on Giorgio Chiellini, during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy on Tuesday, is crucial to his future at the club and in soccer.
After standing by Suarez during his last high-profile bite back in April 2013 (that one was on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and resulted in a 10-game ban for Suarez) it remains to be seen as to what stance the Reds take on the Uruguayan’s latest deplorable act.
[ OFFICIAL: FIFA charges Suarez for biting Chiellini ]
[ RELATED: Suarez reaction on Twitter ]
Suarez, 27, was vilified by the British media for that bite on Ivanovic — it was his second bite on the soccer field after an earlier incident whilst playing for Ajax in 2010 saw him banned for 7-games — and vowed to walk away from Liverpool after putting in a transfer request and trying to pull out all of the stops to leave the Premier League.
However Liverpool blocked transfers and weren’t willing to sell Suarez at any price. That decision, and that faith they had in Suarez despite him turning his back on the club and his adoring fans, paid off last season. Massively. Suarez was the leading scoring in the PL with 29 goals, he won ever single Player of the Year award going and established his profile among the worlds top three players alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
With Suarez starring a maximum 24-month ban in the face after FIFA opened up their investigation into the bite on Chiellini, it is likely Liverpool will have to match whatever ban FIFA imposes on Suarez. The ban by FIFA would only stop Suarez from playing in their competitions but Premier League executives and Liverpool’s directors would have to be seen to take the issue as seriously as FIFA does, and would be forced to dishing out a similarly lengthy ban to Suarez.
If Suarez is banned by FIFA, as is widely expected, and that results in him missing games for Liverpool, the club can sue Suarez under ‘breach of contract’ as his act of misconduct will directly impact the Anfield club.
They have two options if all of this comes to fruition: stand by their man who is one of the most talented soccer players in the world, but loves to act like a vampire. Or, they sell him and recoup whatever kind of cash they can for a supreme, yet flawed, talent.
Suarez has long been linked with a move to either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona in Spain and if Liverpool want a quick-sale, it seems as though both would be willing to snap him up. No pun intended. That said, the Reds would take a hit on the transfer fee. No doubt.
After Suarez’s stellar 2013-14 campaign, it’s hard not to imagine him being worth any less than the world record transfer fee of $130 million which Real paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale back in September 2013.
Now though, after his latest bite and a lengthy worldwide ban heading his way… maybe Liverpool could ask for $60-75 million tops for their striker, if they are looking to offload him. Yet there is such a huge dilemma here, as Suarez tore the PL apart last season and has dragged Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League next season. The reason he initially wanted to leave Liverpool was that they couldn’t offer him UCL soccer, now that he has helped to deliver that, would Liverpool really be willing to give up “King Luis” and diminish their chances of challenging for the PL title and in Europe next season and beyond?
After all, where are you going to find another player like Suarez? With his talent comes the baggage but a THIRD bite on an opposition player on the pitch may be a step too far. Even for him.
For so long Suarez has called the shots on his Liverpool career, as he has tried to engineer moves away and signed long-term deals when he wants to. Now, all the power is with the club.
How should Liverpool treat their star striker Suarez? Should he stay, or should he go?