Liverpool won’t turn their back on Luis Suarez, according to Kenny Dalglish – the man who brought him to Anfield in the first place –despite the Uruguay forward’s latest ban for biting.
Suarez was thrown out of the World Cup and given a four-month ban from all football after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s 1-0 win over the Azzurri earlier this week.
It is the third time Suarez has been suspended for biting an opponent and many within English football have urged Liverpool to have nothing more to do with the player, even though the striker scored 31 goals in 33 Premier League matches last season.
But Dalglish, widely regarded as Liverpool’s greatest player, said the 27-year-old Suarez, whom he brought to Anfield from Ajax in January 2011 was deserving of the club’s backing.
“It is my belief that when you bring a player to a football club, he becomes your responsibility. You don’t just turn your back on a player because he has done something wrong,” Dalglish wrote in his Daily Mirror column on Saturday.
“I think you will find that Liverpool will not turn their back on Suarez, whatever the ban Fifa have decided he must serve.
“Of course it will be a heavy blow if the club has to do without him for the opening months of the season.
“You can’t really ask any one person why what happened against Italy happened, because there is only one person who knows and that is Luis – some people have injuries you can’t see.”
The way in which Dalglish publicly backed Suarez during a racism row that led to the Liverpool forward serve an eight-game ban for verbally abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra was said to have gone down badly with the Merseyside club’s US-based owner John W Henry and led to the Scot’s replacement as manager by current boss Brendan Rodgers.
Despite the fall-out from that incident, Dalglish said Suarez needed understanding and support.
“Sometimes, when people have something wrong with them, just because they don’t have a plaster cast on their leg, people think they don’t need help.”
And he said it was unfair on Liverpool that Fifa’s ban applied to club football when Suarez remained free to play for Uruguay following his English domestic suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
“When he was punished by the FA (Football Association) for the biting incident with Branislav Ivanovic and banned from domestic games, he was still allowed to play for his national team,” Dalglish said.
“It seems a bit strange, then, that when he is banned for something he did with his national team, his club has to suffer, too.”
After Suarez scored both of Uruguay’s goals in their World Cup group stage win over England, media reports said Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid would be ready to offer £80 million for the striker.
But with the ban meaning Suarez is not allowed to play in any championship, nor train with any team, until October, there has been speculation his transfer value has now been reduced, although it us unlikely that Liverpool would want much less than £80m were they to sell the forward.
The English club have not yet commented on the case, insisting they were waiting to see Fifa’s report.