'I'd keep Suarez' - Ferdinand
Published 29/06/2014 | 10:37
Former England captain Rio Ferdinand would keep Luis Suarez at Liverpool if he were Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
Suarez's defence against a charge of biting an opponent during Uruguay's World Cup Group D match against Italy was that he lost his balance and hit his face on defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder.
The 27-year-old striker was subsequently handed a four-month ban from all football, plus nine international matches and a 100,000 Swiss francs fine (approximately £65,000), after FIFA's seven-man disciplinary panel dismissed his arguments.
Ferdinand said in his column in the Daily Mail: "If I were the Liverpool manager there wouldn't be a moment's doubt about what to do next with Luis Suarez. I'd keep him. Leave aside, just for a moment, questions of morality or whether his ban is long enough and what is going on is his head to make him do these extraordinarily bad things.
"Purely and simply from a football perspective, what he does for you on the pitch - and I don't mean biting people - makes him indispensable. And with the season Liverpool have ahead of them, that's truer than ever.
"They had a brilliant 2013/14, pushing for the title when many people thought they might struggle to get into the top four. Although they didn't win it, they were superb, with Suarez the single most significant reason for that."
However, Ferdinand would view Suarez differently if he were Liverpool's chief executive.
"If I were the chief executive or the money man at Liverpool, I'd have him up for sale already," the former West Ham and Manchester United defender said.
"The issue is one of risk and what might happen in the future given a pattern of behaviour. Keeping Suarez may potentially cost Liverpool tens of millions of pounds. Perhaps £70million or more."
FIFA was formally informed of the Uruguay FA's intention to appeal against the sanctions on Suarez on Saturday.