Amid endless statements from Brendan Rodgers stressing Liverpool’s desire to keep wantaway striker Luis Suarez, former Liverpool goalkeeper David James has expressed his opinion that the striker is holding Liverpool back as they look to progress. James, who is yet to retire at the age of 43, feels that Liverpool have become too one-dimensional with the Uruguayan, pointing out that almost everything goes through him.
The club disappointingly finished in seventh place last year, and the player who appeared in over 200 Premier League matches for the Reds believes that the club would become more dynamic and unpredictable if Suarez left. Rodgers brought in former Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge during the January transfer window, and the Englishman has been sensational thus far. Sturridge returned to training yesterday following an ankle injury in May, and if James is correct then the club can succeed even without the Uruguayan.
“On a purely footballing side of things, as talented an individual as he is, the problem I find is that everything seems to go through Luis Suarez,” James told The Mirror.
“You have this talented player and there is no question about that but does it make the team better? I think there is so much hinging on Suarez that it is actually stopping Liverpool from progressing.
“I think the club, in letting him go, can actually then develop a lot more unpredictability about them, in the sense that they will have more options to play.
“Sturridge came in and was their second top goalscorer in half a season and you have Stevie G there as always bolstering those numbers but there is so much focus on one player.
“Last season Liverpool finished seventh. I think without Suarez, they have a better chance (of finishing top-four).”
Aside from Suarez, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and winger Stewart Downing have also expressed their desire to play in the Champions League, but the club have failed to finish in the top four since 2009. Even then, the Reds crashed out of the Champions League in the group stages in December of 2009, pointing towards a long drought of European success on Merseyside.
David James is currently playing for Icelandic side IBV following his departure from Bournemouth.