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Is Liverpool keeping Suarez a mistake?

Suarez Liverpool 2

Don't get me wrong. Suarez is a fantastic footballer and would be a huge loss to Liverpool. But put yourself in the position of another club.

Clubs like Beyern may still be interested in Suarez, but they would also know that he is damaged goods. They know that one more incident like the now infamous bite and he would be virtually finished in top-level European football.

They may, however, be prepared to take that risk, but would not pay the probable £40m that his fee would have been before last Sunday. Any buying club would look for a serious discount for the risk. I suspect that the 'hit' for Liverpool to sell him now would be £10-15m.

But Liverpool have decided to keep him. I suspect that the likely reduced transfer fee is a factor in this, although the club may feel it can genuinely help him, and itself in the process.

This is a bad choice. Consider what will happen at every away match next season. The fan reaction will be totally hostile and he will be on the receiving end of constant abuse.

Opposing players will be doing the same - witness Evra distastefully biting a false arm (and showing in the process what a yob he is). He will be exposed to constant winding-up. So, in very game, Suarez will be subjected to extreme provocation from opposing fans and players. The aim? To provoke another incident.

In such a situation, Suarez could be potentially a ticking bomb. No amount of anger management training could prepare someone for a situation that even the most even-tempered of people would find it hard to take.

And Suarez will be under a microscope. So, if that incident happens? The term 'last-chance saloon' comes to mind. He would face an extremely lengthy ban, and after that he club would really be in a position where he really could no longer be played because it would all happen again.

However his resale value would then be very low. The risk factor in buying him would make . A third such incident and no major club would touch him.

By hanging on. Liverpool risk losing whatever could be raised in any transfer this summer. Good management knows when to cut their losses.

If it all pays off and Suarez is rehabilitated; if he helps Liverpool back to a top four place, then the decision will be vindicated. If things go pear-shaped , then a club which doesn't have much available by way of transfer funds could lose its biggest asset for virtually nothing.

That's a big gamble.

image: © Viking-

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