No player is bigger than the club.
The time has come for Liverpool Football Club to once again prove the old adage correct and grant the unsettled Luis Suarez his wish to leave Anfield.
Last year, Suarez scored 23 league goals as he guided a Liverpool side still in transition to seventh place in the Premier League and added seven more goals to his tally in cup competitions. However, the Reds ultimately failed to win a trophy or secure Champions League football, and the forward has openly spoken about his discontent since the season's end, such as in this interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais (via Fox Sports).
Suarez is a world-class forward and is now in the prime years of his football career. Quite frankly, he deserves to be playing in the Champions League, which Liverpool clearly cannot offer at the moment.
Nevertheless, Suarez is slowly becoming a liability for the club. Due to his volatile personality and uncontrollable on-pitch behaviour, Suarez has received bans totaling 19 games since arriving in Merseyside without ever being sent off. No matter how good he really is, the list of his incidents grows uncomfortably long with each passing season, and the Reds cannot endanger their respectable club reputation by keeping Suarez for too long.
Simply put, one cannot possibly imagine the next stupid thing he's going to do.
Furthermore, Suarez might not be as vital to this Liverpool side as it seems.
Paul Tomkins of Tomkins Times states that Liverpool's win percentage is actually higher when the Uruguayan is absent compared to when he's playing (62 to 39). According to Opta, Liverpool would still have finished seventh in the Premier League had it not been for Suarez's goals last year.
7 - Without Luis Suarez's goals this season, Liverpool would still have finished seventh in the Premier League table. Depth.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 31, 2013
While it is true that statistics are not always reliable, they at least illustrate that the Reds will not be doomed without Suarez.
Another factor that should be considered is Suarez's truly remarkable wastefulness. Although he does score plenty of goals, he also squanders plenty of opportunities trying to do it all by himself. Suarez had more attempts on goal than any other player in the Premier League last year and more than double than the next Liverpool player on the list, which clearly means he can be rather selfish. One can only think of all the chances Suarez wasted when there was a teammate in a better position.
Finally, money talks.
According to various media sources, including this report from ESPN FC, Liverpool will be asking for at least £50 million from Suarez's potential suitors. With that outrageous amount of money at his disposal, Brendan Rodgers could sign two or three players and rebuild the starting XI.
Perhaps the time is right for Liverpool and Luis Suarez to part ways.