Last season Liverpool striker Luis Suarez swept the board at the English football awards and scored 31 Premier League goals, despite missing the first five games of the league season through suspension.
The Uruguayan’s effort helped the Reds come within a whisker of winning their first top-flight title in 24 years.
Suarez is now regarded as one of the best strikers in world football and yet some Liverpool fans are hoping that the club cash in on the 27-year-old, after his latest biting incident sent shockwaves through football.
The incident has once against damaged the reputation of Liverpool Football Club and was one too many for some Reds fans. Suarez is without doubt a fantastic footballer, but he has this ‘accident waiting to happen’ feeling about him.
He cannot control himself. Twice in just over a year he has appeared to bite somebody on a football pitch, which as one Reds fan put it is just ‘ridiculous’. It seems that this latest incident is the last straw for a lot of Liverpool fans.
However for Liverpool’s hierarchy it is a tough decision to make. They have to weigh up his fantastic ability with his tendency to self-implode. It seems the Liverpool hierarchy are now ready to allow the striker leave Anfield.
According to Sky Sports, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre was in London on Wednesday holding talks with Barcelona about the sale of the striker.
A Liverpool source claimed: “The talks held today were productive, there are sensible expectations on both sides. Further talks and discussions are to take place, but nothing is finalised as of now.”
The striker favours a switch to the Catalan giants, with arch-rivals Real Madrid also interested in signing the striker. The striker has family connections with the club from Catalonia.
Liverpool are interested in signing Chilean international Alexis Sanchez as part of the Suarez deal, but the Reds face stiff competition for the World Cup star, as the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Juventus are also being linked with the former-Udinese ace.
Sanchez has a number of options this summer, so he may decide to move elsewhere. Whether Sanchez is involved in the Suarez deal or not it seems almost inevitable that Luis Suarez will be leaving Merseyside this summer.
The Uruguayan was handed a four-month ban from any football activity for his bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup and originally denied biting the Juve defender. However, he has now apologised and his ban could be reduced for the apology.
The more cynical people in football have suggested that the apology was just an attempt to appease Barcelona ahead of transfer talks. Whether or not that is true we will never know, but the apology looks likely to work in his favour in his attempts to reduce his ban.
A reduced ban would mean Suarez missing fewer games at the start of the new campaign, whether he starts the season at Liverpool or Barcelona.
Take away Suarez’s tendency to munch on opposition players and he is simply a fantastic footballer. He has breath-taking skill, works his socks off and has a tremendous will to win, which has helped him become so successful.
Suarez is also that rare striker in football these days, a prolific one. Too many strikers at the top level fail to produce on a consistent level. Suarez does not have that problem. The Uruguayan always seems to be at the heart of everything his team does.
Not only did Suarez score 31 Premier League goals last season, he also created 12 for his teammates. His football intelligence is second to none in the Liverpool team and his combination play with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling was a key to the Reds title challenge in the last campaign.
Suarez is a match-winner, pure and simple. He produces goals out of absolutely nothing and to say that he will be difficult to replace would be an understatement.
Luis Suarez moving to Barcelona would be ideal for the Uruguayan as his wife’s family live in the Catalan capital. The 27-year-old has given everything he has for Liverpool whenever he has stepped out onto the pitch, but it looks like it could be the right time for him to move on, with Suarez now odds of 1/6 to join Luis Enrique’s team.
I would say it would be impossible for Liverpool to find a straight replacement for Luis Suarez. He is such a unique player, he cannot be replaced. However, with a mooted fee of £70-80million the Reds could heavily strengthen their squad with a Champions League campaign ahead of them next season.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has already spent £40million on the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can. The Northern Irishman could be about to be handed an even bigger transfer kitty.
However, somehow I think he would probably have preferred to keep his star player this summer. That now looks unlikely and Liverpool will now have to find a solution to replacing the Uruguayan, which will be no easy task.
Is Luis Suarez irreplaceable?