Liverpool and the Premier League Would Be Better off Without Luis Suarez

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2013

WIGAN, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his third goal to complete a hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Liverpool at the DW Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Since arriving from Ajax in the January 2011 transfer window, Luis Suarez has been nothing short of sensational.

The Uruguayan has managed 38 goals in 77 Premier League starts: an average return of a goal every other game.

This season, he has put away 30 goals for the Reds in all competitions, earning Liverpool's Player of the Month award five times in the process. According to the Daily Mail, he has been worth eleven points to Liverpool this season.

Yet for all his good graces, this Premier League fan cannot wait to see the back of a player who is a scourge on professional football.

And Suarez, it seems, cannot wait to see the back of the English game either.

This week, the 26-year-old—who is under contract with Liverpool until 2018—has declared that he would find it "difficult" to say no to a potential offer from Real Madrid. "I am not prepared to continue this way with the English press," he told Martin Charquero of COPE (h/t Yahoo! Sport), simultaneously ignoring the fact that he was using the English press to leverage himself a move to a bigger club and that the Spanish football press does not exactly enjoy a sterling reputation.

Of course, this is by no means the first time Suarez has put himself in the shop window when the opportunity to jettison Liverpool has arisen.

In February, he expressed his openness to an offer from Bayern Munich, via Jamie Sanderson of Metro. "It doesn't mean I will definitely leave, it just means that I will not automatically reject other clubs," he said, as if to reassure Liverpool fans who might otherwise be concerned by his overt lack of loyalty.

To be fair, Liverpool don't employ footballers for loyalty
they employ them to help win games. Yet Suarez has made this increasingly difficult by managing to get himself banned on two separate occasions in the last two seasons.

Luis, if you receive an eight-game ban for racial provocation and a 10-match ban for biting someone, is it any wonder that you feel the English press pay you too much attention?

The Uruguayan evidently isn't willing to tolerate the British media that has made life "difficult" for him and his family, yet football fans are expected to tolerate his biting, (alleged) racism and near-constant cheating. This is not a fair deal.

This is a man who is quite happy to admit that he dives (of course while trying to shift some of the blame to the media). This is a man who potentially denied Ghana a place in the 2010 World Cup semifinals with a deliberate handball—an action that he would have no qualms about repeating. This is a man who had already served a seven-match ban in the Eredivisie for drawing blood while biting an opponent.

Is this the kind of person a proud club like Liverpool want wearing their colors? Does a man with these character traits deserved to be paid to play at the top level, where—at the risk of sounding a little melodramatic—his actions will set examples for future generations?

Think of the benefits of letting Suarez leave Liverpool and the Premier League. The Anfield side would have around £40 million with which to strengthen the rest of the team.

Perhaps they could bring in a forward who wouldn't earn an embarrassing ban every season. Managing director Ian Ayre would no longer have to defend the indefensible and would get a rest from putting out the flames of negative publicity drawn to the club.

Suarez is not irreplaceable, and perhaps his contributions are overvalued. After all, the 11 points that his league goals earned Liverpool would not even have affected the club's final standing at the end of the season if they hadn't been won.

When the talented forward sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic in April, many suspected that would be the last time he pulled on a Liverpool shirt. For the sake of the club and the league, I hope this is the case.