Whether Liverpool Should Sell Luis Suarez: A Liverpool and United Fan Discuss

Editor’s note: The following debate features Nipun Chopra (a Manchester United supporter) and Gabe Smith (a Liverpool fan) discussing the pros and cons of Luis Suarez staying at or leaving Liverpool. Nipun (@nipunchopra7) and Gabe (@smitty46and2) record the Liverpool and United Fans podcast. You can find the podcast online or on iTunes.

Reports are coming in that Barcelona are about to make a bid for Luis Suarez. Should Liverpool sell the Uruguayan striker?

Nipun Chopra (Manchester United fan)

Yes, Liverpool should sell him. And here are my reasons —

First and foremost, as a Manchester United fan, I abhor him. His role in the Patrice Evra racism row and subsequent farcical actions by Liverpool will forever be the number one thing I associate with him. And, as has proven to be the case time and time again, his inability to take any ownership of his actions leaves everyone bewildered and frustrated.

Now that I have covered my dislike for him, let me elucidate more nuanced reasons why Liverpool should sell Suarez:

1. Liverpool are a great club

Liverpool are a club with a fantastic history and a tremendous stature in European football. As long as Luis Suarez continues to be associated with the club, Liverpool will continually experience PR nightmares. Whether it’s racism rows, biting or diving, Liverpool has backed the Uruguayan forward. And, this posturing is unsustainable to their image.

2. He isn’t getting better and never did

In spite of widespread claims that Suarez’ behavior had improved, Suarez’ inability to take blame for his actions was a strong indicator that his underlying issues remained unresolved. Yes, he did not bite anyone last season (and it’s hilarious that that has to be recognized), but in every interview, he continued to deny his diving, continued to blame Patrice Evra for the racism row, and continued to argue that all his issues were a creation of the English press. Even though he has recently apologized for the Chiellini issue, it is quite possible that he is one interview (probably when he is back in Uruguay) away from stating that none of it was his fault. Indeed, the fact that it took him six days to realize that he had bit someone is both humorous and puzzling.

3. Get excellent money for him

Luis Suarez is arguably the best striker in the world. He is currently being tracked by clubs that have shown a propensity to pay ridiculous sums of money for players that have less ability (Bale, Neymar). Therefore, Liverpool should take the money, and reinvest it into expanding their squad with quality players. Certainly, the squad number for Liverpool is not sufficient to challenge for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. At 27, Suarez will not be demanding the £50 million + transfer fee for too long. Now is the perfect time to sell.

4. The squad can be built around Sturridge, Henderson and Sterling

Once Suarez is sold, there are three English players whom Rodgers can build the squad around. Raheem Sterling has been a revelation under Brendan Rodgers; his ability to play in a variety of positions combined with his pace and improving strength, make him a centerpiece of Rodgers’ plans. In the absence of Suarez, his role would become more important and thereby give him more confidence. Sterling was one of the few English players who came away from the World Cup with any credit.

5. The situation in England is untenable

Suarez’ victim mentality and constant tirades against the English press – who ironically heralded him all of last season – have made him an easy target in England. Opposition fans enjoy denigrating him and rival managers often highlight his diving in post-match conferences.

In conclusion, it is now time for the Uruguayan striker to take his incredible playing ability somewhere else.


Gabe Smith (Liverpool fan)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This famous line by George Santayana must ring loud and clear for Liverpool Football Club officials this week. For the third time in as many years, Luis Suarez’s behavior on the pitch has dragged Liverpool into yet another controversy and once again the club finds itself evaluating the future of their sublimely talented, but equally volatile striker.

It’s a bit of deja vu for Brendan Rodgers as he again prepares for the first fixture of a new season without Suarez leading the attack. For this reason alone, many have argued, Liverpool should sell their prized asset this transfer window in hopes of finding a more dependable player who won’t miss a quarter of the season due to suspension.

It’s hard to find fault with that logic. History, after all, does not shine favorably on the prospects of Suarez improving in this area of his game. The four month ban from all football related activity handed down by FIFA will see the Uruguayan miss up to 13 games of Liverpool’s upcoming campaign. Add that to the suspensions previously served following the Patrice Evra race row and Branislav Ivanović biting scandals and that total becomes 38 games missed for LFC.

Moreover, it doesn’t appear any action by the club has led to improvement. Prior to the World Cup, there was a belief around Anfield that Luis’ work with psychiatrist Dr. Steve Peters was paying dividends. Many, including myself, saw signs from this past season that suggested he had gained greater control over his reactions on the field. But all that hope was erased in another moment of madness.

Suarez’s past indiscretions are now at the forefront of Liverpool’s transfer decisions. Before the Giorgio Chiellini bite seen around the world, it would have been unfathomable to see Suarez leave Merseyside after the season he had and the club qualifying for Champions League. But now, to keep a player who has shown an inability to stay eligible for an entire season is looking to be a more risky proposition, and if the likes of John W. Henry and Fenway Sports Group never considered selling Suarez before, they’re certainly doing it now.

If Rodgers, Henry and Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre adhered to Santayana’s words, then it should give them some guidance in deciding Suarez’s fate. Yet, Suarez’s troubled history may not be the past they’re most worried about repeating. While Suarez’s indefensible actions can’t be ignored, Liverpool officials and fans alike also remember a past without Suarez.

They remember the 24 years it has been since Liverpool last won the league title and the handful of times over that same stretch that they were even in contention. They can point to the last prolific striker to score 30+ goals in a season and the hole that was left when he left.  They can recall the past 5 seasons without Champions League football and what it felt like to be irrelevant in Europe. This is the past Liverpool remembers and they’ll do anything in their power to prevent it repeating.

Those reasons alone lead me to believe Liverpool will not sell Luis Suarez unless a team comes in with a bid that matches the value they’ve set on him. They don’t have to sell and they should not allow a team to leverage this current situation to get a knock down price. Unconfirmed reports are stating Liverpool value Suarez between £70-£80M and some of that may or may not be balanced with a cash + player sale. Unless that valuation is met, I fully expect to see Luis Suarez playing for Liverpool, albeit starting November 1 instead of August 16.

12 thoughts on “Whether Liverpool Should Sell Luis Suarez: A Liverpool and United Fan Discuss”

  1. What you have got to remember if Barcelona sign Suarez the Fifa club ban will magically disappear, it has been engineered so that Barcelona can get Suarez on the cheap, but Liverpool should hold out. Barcelona need to buy, Liverpool do not need to sell. Personally I would tell Barcelona that £100m is the price needed to get Suarez put up or shut up!

  2. This is neither a discussion (as indicated in the headline) nor a debate (as indicated in the article). A discussion/debate would have been much more interesting than these two not so unique opinions…

    Anyway, as a Liverpool fan, I hope we sell him if they meet our valuation. I especially hope we can get Sanchez in the deal, but that is looking somewhat unlikely. I’ll miss watching Luis play every week, but I fear what may happen if he screws up again.

    I can’t imagine he’ll ever be more valuable than he is now, so I wouldn’t mind selling him and filling in our squad with 2 or 3 top quality players. Sanchez, Shaqiri, and someone else (James Rodriguez, in my dreams!) would work for me.

    I can’t blame him for wanting to go to Barca… Real Madrid, Barca and Bayern are just the biggest clubs around. Luis speaks Spanish, his wive’s family lives in Barca. And everyone in England (besides LFC fans) seem to really despise him. I’m going to miss him, but I agree that it might be best for all parties to move on.

    If Barcelona tries to lowball us, I’ll be glad to see Luis again next season.

    1. And just to actually have some debate with the ManU writer, as advertised in this article… I just wanted to point out that he has taken ownership of his actions at least once in the past… he did apologize after the Ivanovic bite. Not sure what he said after Bite #1 because he wasn’t on my radar at that point. He certainly didn’t help himself one bit by denying Bite #3…

      And yeah, I do think that the media in England is a little over the top in their condemnation and general bashing of Luis. But hey, I’m biased. I just think Luis is actually a pretty good person with some self-control problems that he needs help for, not the villainous racist cheating vampire that should be banned from football pitches worldwide for life.

      And not to dig up a whole big can of worms, but I think the racism row with Evra is one of the most overblown scandals I’ve ever followed. I’d definitely consider what John Terry said to Anton Ferdinand 8 days after the Suarez/Evra row much, much worse… but hey, not many people bring that up often. Last I heard him brought up, English commentators were lamenting that he wasn’t in the World Cup squad. Anyway, Luis is no angel, no saint, but I have a hard time understand the treatment he gets compared to the many other football stars who have made mistakes on and off the pitch.

      Anyway. Sell him if they give a reasonable offer. I’m tired of defending him, especially when he continues to make mistakes and seemingly wants to leave.

      1. Thank you for reading and your critique. It is appreciated. Happy to indulge your debate —

        1. Agreed – he did apologize for biting Ivanovic. He also mentioned in multiple interviews last season that his issues (in plural) were a creation of the English press. And that he is a victim, not the perpetrator. In other words, not really someone who is taking responsibility for his actions. He has yet to apologize to Evra. In every single interview, he has said that the whole thing was the FA/Fergie/United/Evra’s fault. In spite of the fact that he admitted to using the word he later denied.

        2. The Terry issue is such a non-sequitur. Yes, the Suarez’ issue gets more press time. If you want me to admit that, I will. Yes, Terry should be criticized more. But, let’s not change the argument we are having (Since you were interested in a debate). People get dicked over by decisions. Is Suarez one of them? More press time does not mean unfair decisions. So, no! He has warranted all of the bans he has received. Because his actions are unprecedented.

        3. No one is arguing that he doesn’t need help. He absolutely does, but people like yourself who try to deflect blame from him, are the same people who are reinforcing his victim mentality. He is a child in a grown up’s body and he needs to get psychological help. And every time Liverpool and Uruguay (T-shirts, interviews, etc.) go to bat for him, Suarez allows himself to think that his actions do not have real, legitimate consequences. And it is high time that they do.

        Take a step away and think about everything he has done. And, maybe, you will see the reasons for the vitriol directed at him. I applaud your desire to protect him; but he does not deserve it. And, Liverpool should cut ties.

        Cheers and thanks again for reading. —The United fan

        1. Hi Nipun. Thanks for your response! I’ll try to respond without overly defending Luis, because obviously not all of his actions are defensible. As stated before, I’m a bit tired of him and am content with selling him… which, when you’re content with selling one of the most dangerous strikers in the world, there are obviously some serious issues. I’m not trying to excuse him entirely.

          I guess I’d need to read the interviews you mention where he blames the press for all of his issues, particularly the biting. As far as I was aware, he apologized for his Ivanovic bite and took responsibility for it and did not blame the press for it last season. My understanding has always been that he complains about the English press being over-the-top in their negative portrayal of him. I think that the victimhood mentality stems back to the racism row, in that Luis doesn’t actually believe what he said was nearly as horrific as it was made out to be in the press. We could go back and forth about this and whether or not there is any defense, but I believe Luis didn’t shake Evra’s hand because he did not believe an 8 game suspension was justified. Headlines that just say “RACIST” contradict what both the FA report and Evra said (that they don’t believe he’s a racist, but did use racist language which is unacceptable/racial abuse). I can obviously see from outside the Liverpool perspective it looks ridiculous to wear shirts supporting a player who’s deemed RACIST by every news organization. But the people who actually know and interact with him on a daily basis (including the black ones) apparently agreed that he was getting unfairly villainized for a mistake he didn’t fully understand, and wore shirts showing him their support. This is the only time that LFC has backed up Luis in a mistake, and while from a PR perspective, that was a disaster, I honestly believe most teams would have stuck up for him if they actually listened to what he said in his own defense. I’m a very liberal American and as any decent person does, I despise racism, so maybe I’m embarrassing myself by trying to justify the support of Luis in this incident. But I think Luis feels that from that incident, he’s been portrayed as the devil in England, while in reality, he’s not racist, never thought he was, didn’t think he was being so in the moment, and is somewhat perplexed that this is held over his head by fans and media. When he refers to the English media in interviews, I think he is mostly referring to this incident, which he still views differently than they do. And this incident also affected the amount of coverage his later incidents received.

          If he said something in interviews about the other incidents (biting) being a media creation, I’d be interested to know about it.

          I don’t fully agree that the John Terry mention is a non-sequitur, because he also (as a native Englishman who fully understood the implication of his words) said something racially abusive that I personally find more offensive, but was suspended for a shorter period and has not been constantly maligned as a racist by the rest of England ever since his incident. That points directly at the disparity in media treatment that makes him feel like a victim, and also at the disparity in the treatment of the incident by the FA.

          I agree that Uruguay does him no favors backing him up when biting. LFC has not done the same and has tried to help him, and he acted quite decently all of last season. I always feel dread when he leaves Liverpool for a few weeks, not because I’m worried he’ll get injured (the normal worry about international duty), because I do agree that he is a bit of a manchild and is too easily influenced by whoever it is that advises him (or leaves him to his own devices?) in Uruguay. I think Liverpool can be a good influence on him, and hope that if he does somehow end up back at Anfield next year, that we will help him to behave better, as he did last season.

          I am certainly not saying Luis is blameless, and I’ve never said that his bans were not warranted. Biting people is really freaking strange and obviously warrants suspension… and as it continues, longer suspensions are justified. I just don’t think it makes him the awful, vile, embarrassing, disgraceful person that many media and fans portray him as. I’m not saying he’s pure good and doesn’t deserve punishment for mistakes, I just don’t think he’s the devil, or a “racist t**t” or “human garbage” as Landdo called him below.

          Frankly, I personally find the behavior or many players off the pitch to be worse than a bite on the pitch. And I’d rather be bitten on the shoulder than to have my career ended by Roy Keane. Or any other horror tackle. Luis is just a soccer player, not a moral standard bearer. He’s one of the best players around and I think United fans (or fans of any team) are kidding themselves if they don’t think they would have defended one of the most exciting and gifted players in their team’s history (especially if he lifts them from mediocrity to challenging for the league). If we compare the moral behavior of all football players, this would go on for years. It seems to me that Luis is especially maligned and I just don’t really get it.

          But hey, if I was a United fan, I bet that I would hate him too.

        2. Jesus… sorry so long. Finished just in time for World Cup games! Everyone have a good 4th of July. Thanks for taking the time to respond to me, Nipun. I do see where you’re coming from, and while I don’t expect us to agree about Luis, I appreciate your perspective and find you to be a very reasonable United Fan. Cheers, fellow football lover!

          1. Anyone who uses Negrita to deride someone is a racist. To defend it is ridiculous. It almost seems like those people who say the N word and say its OK Cruz I have black friends. He may play with other black players but when he thought he wasn’t being watched, he let his true self out. Like Donald Sterling. He called Era a little black girl. He used black as a negative and being a girl as a negative to dehumanize his opponent. We don’t give Sterling or the cooking lady a pass because they are old white people. Everyone should be held to the same standard. Keene was wrong for setting out to injure someone. Cantons was wrong for kicking a douchebag of a fan. And Suarez is wrong for biting people but he’s especially wrong for calling Evra a negrita. My mom taught me that when someone shows you who they are, believe them. On some level Suarez thinks blacks and women are less than him. So he is a t**ty piece of garbage. Racism is never Ok, even if you have black friends and they said so. That being said, both my kids are named after a black man and my best friend is black. And I would never use that language to demean someone. Which is why Suarez can rot.

      2. ‘Pretty good person’????? Forget Luis for a moment. One of your friends…a pretty good person, in your estimation, except every so often when you are in his company, he bites someone. I wonder how often you get invited by your other friends who know you might bring this ‘pretty good person’ along?

  3. Good article. As a United fan, I hope he leaves. As a football fan, I hope he bites someone else while at Barcelona and received a lifetime ban. He is bad for the game. A racist t**t who assaults his coworkers. In any other industry he would be in jail. He is a child with talent who is indulged because he plays a game well. The best moment of last season was watching him cry like the baby he is. He has no honor and is a lying, biting racist. Here’s to him crying some more. He blamed gravity this time. I just fell with my mouth open. Not my fault. What a piece of human garbage.

  4. As has been mentioned, if you feel Luis is just a hapless guy for whom the British press has it in for then you are deluded. Go in to work tomorrow and bite a coworker and see what happens.

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