Jos Hooiveld believes Luis Suarez’s behaviour could cost the Liverpool striker the Player of the Year award.
Suarez, the English Premier League’s top scorer, is competing with Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie to be named the league’s top talent for the season.
Southampton defender Hooiveld believes the Uruguay international’s past misdemeanours, including being banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra, will count against him in the voting.
“I can understand why people don’t vote for Suarez as he divides opinion,” Hooiveld told the Daily Mirror.
“I have followed him since he played for my local team, FC Groningen, in Holland. He has developed very well and is a complete player. I enjoy his competitiveness.
“I am not sure what he has to do to be a better player. He does very well. Suarez’s style of playing is not always the nicest. He is always a bit on the edge.”
Hooiveld said he voted for Van Persie for the Players’ Player of the Year award, due to his compatriot’s contribution in sending Manchester United to the Premier League summit.
“I voted today for Van Persie – I have not played against Suarez yet,” he said.
“I can’t change the vote, even if Suarez scores a hat-trick.
“They have both done a great job. I think personal preference is key and I think Van Persie has been top so far and is at the top of the league.”