Liverpool Must Sell Luis Suarez in January to Complete Top 4 Master Plan

Greg Johnson@gregianjohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportSeptember 11, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24:  Liverpool FC Manager Brendan Rodgers (L) looks on as Luis Suarez of Liverpool is substituted into the match during the match between the Melbourne Victory and Liverpool at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 24, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

As Luis Suarez once again finds himself embroiled in a spot of fresh controversy with Uruguay, rumours abound that Real Madrid want to bring the Liverpool forward to the Bernabeu in January.

Marca report that Florentino Perez wishes to sign one of Suarez or Falcao after Christmas to complete a new look Galacticos era under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Having had to sit through a summer of contradictory quotes from the player pleading for a transfer to a Champions League club and then desperately denying any disloyalty, Liverpool fans can be forgiven for feeling exasperated by their supposed talisman.

Yet while it's easy to understand why such a defiant and skillful player can so easily taken advantage of supporters' affections, rivalries and insecurities, the blind spot created by the cult of Luis Suarez at Anfield hides more than just bad behaviour.

While the Uruguayan may be the greatest individual in the Liverpool squad at present, the team plays better football in his absence. So far, Brendan Rodgers' side have achieved a 100% record this season with three 1-0 wins against Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United respectively.

Still serving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last year, Suarez's goal threat has been covered by Daniel Sturridge, while Coutinho will soon look to add that extra touch of creativity that he provided at the end of last season once back in form and up to speed with the league.

By trusting in Brendan Rodgers' system rather than an unpredictable if brilliant player, Liverpool fans can look to the future, and build back toward a top four berth through collective endeavour, in the mould of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley's teams.

It's meant as no insult to say that while the greatest sides in Liverpool's history had some excellent players, their main strength lay in their teamwork and selfless commitment to each other and their unit on the field. They were functional in the sense that almost all the best teams are, from Guardiola's Barcelona to Lobanovskyi's Dynamo Kyiv and beyond.

With the developing chemistry of Sturridge and Countinho backed by the hardwork and talent of Jordan Henderson and co, Liverpool have the foundations of a promising young team that could well lift the club back into Europe's premier competition.

Meanwhile, it's difficult to see how Luis Suarez would fit into this system without distorting it.

Even if he were to play out on the flanks in support of Sturridge up front, considering the amount of shots he takes per game his selfishness in front of goal doesn't match what the team requires.

Last season, Suarez may have scored 23 goals, but to do so he took 187 shots, often from unlikely angles and positions, rather than offering the ball to a better placed teammate.

His supporters may cite that great players take on more responsibility than they should when they feel they aren't surrounded by quality, but as evidenced by Liverpool's form while he's been suspended, perhaps the problem is Suarez rather than those around him?

Suarez is also a liability when it comes to his simulations and gamesmanship. Liverpool would do well to focus on the positive direction offered by Rodgers' system rather than the animosity and nastiness that often surrounds Suarez and his victim complex.

His ability to affect the biggest games is also questionable.

The Uruguayan's most serious actions have come against sides such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. If Suarez can't keep it together against competitive rivals, then it's difficult to see what he offers Liverpool what they can't already achieve without him.

With Perez at Real Madrid seemingly locked into a spendaholic's high, Brendan Rodgers would do well to try and push his troublesome forward out of the door for big money, and reinvest in more players such as Iago Aspas, who can carry Liverpool back to the promised land together.


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