Premier League

Luis Suarez has damaged Liverpool's name with bite, says Graeme Souness

Suarez finished at Liverpool?

Graeme Souness says Luis Suarez has put his future at Liverpool in doubt following his "embarrassing" bite on Branislav Ivanovic during the Reds' 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Suarez sunk his teeth into Blues defender Ivanovic midway through the second half at Anfield, the latest in a series of high-profile incidents that have marred the career of the Uruguyan, who was seemingly one of the front runners to be named PFA Player of the Year.

The striker bit then-PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal when he was playing in the Netherlands for Ajax - a misdemeanour that earned him a seven-game ban - while he was suspended for eight matches last season for racially abusing Man United's Patrice Evra.

Liverpool legend Souness says Suarez "crossed the line" on Sunday and has damaged the Merseyside giants' reputation - and he feels that could lead to the 26-year-old departing Anfield.

"The job of directors at a football club is to attract the best players and keep them, but Suarez is making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool and I think [this bite] puts him in the last-chance saloon," the Scot told Sky Sports.

"Suarez's track record is not great - he had the incident with Evra and this is not the first time he has bitten someone in a football match - but this is embarrassing and puts Liverpool in a bad light in this week of all weeks [the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster].

Suarez biting incident

"Liverpool are not blessed with world-class footballers and he is genuinely world class, but there are lines you just cannot cross and he has crossed one today - and those pictures will be beamed across the world over the next few days.

"But the most important thing is to safeguard the good name of Liverpool Football Club as it is world-renowned and up there with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

"Suarez will suffer but the club will suffer most of all."


Souness' fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp also condemned Suarez - who created Liverpool's first goal against Chelsea before heading home their equaliser in the dying embers of the game - for lashing out at Ivanovic, and says he should be handed a lengthy ban.

But he reckons the South American's touch of "genius" means it is unlikely that he has played his final game for a club that he joined for £22.8million in January 2011.

"It is an honour to watch Suarez play football and some of the things that he does are genius, including his movement for the last-minute equaliser today [Sunday] and his well-weighted pass to Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool's first goal," said Redknapp.

"But the bite is indefensible - it's an incredible act of brutality, even the staunchest Liverpool fan must see that - and I don't see him playing again this season as what sort of message would it send out if he got a two-game ban?

"People have short memories, though, and football is a law unto itself and I don't necessarily see him not playing for Liverpool again - and he is so good you probably have to persevere with him."

Suarez's late strike prevented Chelsea from taking firmer control of a top-four berth and Rafa Benitez's men are now just one point ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, who came from behind to beat Man City 3-1 in Super Sunday's lunchtime kick-off.

Spurs comeback sinks City

Spurs trailed as early as the fifth minute but the second-half introductions of Jermain Defoe, Lewis Holtby and Tom Huddlestone rallied the White Hart Lane troop and they netted three goals in seven minutes to boost their Champions League hopes - and earn Redknapp's praise.

"You can talk all day long about tactics but sometimes it's just about enthusiasm and that's what Defoe brought when he came on," said the former Tottenham midfielder. "There was more movement from him in 19 minutes than there was from Emmanuel Adebayor in 71!

"Defoe worked the channels, while Huddlestone got Spurs passing the ball as before then they were not crisp in possession. They have momentum now - but they have a hard game against Wigan next week."

Should Liverpool now sell Luis Suarez in the summer?

  • Yes
  • No