Luis Suarez went back to his biting best against Italy last week, and once again, Liverpool fans have to suffer.
The 27-year-old has been suspended for nine international matches and has been given a four-month ban from all football-related activities by FIFA.
The punishment was handed out to the striker for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s crucial World Cup Group D encounter at the Arena das Dunas in Natal on Tuesday.
While Uruguay were knocked out of the tournament by Colombia on Saturday, Liverpool are now set to be without the former Ajax star until the end of October.
During this period, Suarez will miss nine Premier League matches, three Champions League fixtures and one League Cup tie for Liverpool.
It is fair to say that the Reds already are on the backfoot as far as winning the league and progressing to the knockout rounds of Europe’s premier club competition is concerned.
Suarez was the star for Liverpool last season as Brendan Rodgers’ side finished second in the Premier League. There have been reports that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in the former Nacional striker, but the Merseyside outfit have made it clear that he is not for sale.
However, outgoing Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand claims that if Liverpool have the chance to strike a swap deal with Barcelona for Alexis Sanchez, then they should take it.
Chile international Sanchez has been strongly linked with a move away from Barcelona this summer, with Liverpool reported to be one of the clubs closely monitoring the situation.
Arsenal and Juventus are also believed to be keen on the former Udinese attacker, who is easily one of the best players in the world.
Ferdinand, who left United earlier this summer after 12 years at the Manchester outfit, believes that if Liverpool have the chance, then they should barter Suarez for Sanchez, as the Uruguayan has now become a risk factor.
The former England international says that from a footballing perspective, Suarez is a big asset for Liverpool and should not be sold, but argues that there is no guarantee that he will not bite someone else again.
‘But if I were the chief executive or the money man at Liverpool, I’d have him up for sale already’, the 35-year-old wrote in the Daily Mail. ‘The issue is one of risk and what might happen in the future given a pattern of behaviour... If Liverpool don’t sell him and he bites someone else after his ban ends, he could he thrown out for years'.
‘The solution to the Suarez situation could be that if Barca do want him, I’d demand Alexis Sanchez in a swap deal’, he added.
It is an interesting argument, and one that some Liverpool fans may agree with. But will Barcelona still want Suarez after his latest behaviour and the fact that he will not be able to feature for them until late October?