John Aldridge claims Liverpool star Luis Suarez has "devalued himself" in the transfer market. The Uruguayan star continues to receive criticism for his outrageous assault on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
The west London side were at Anfield last weekend for a Premier League tie that finished 2-2. However, the headlines were made by Suarez biting Ivanovic on the arm. The FA has since charged the former Ajax forward with violent conduct and sentenced him to a 10-match ban. The ban was not contested and is effective immediately, meaning he is ineligible for the rest of the Reds' season and the first six games of the next campaign.
"He's probably devalued himself on the market and if he was to go, and I hope that that doesn't happen, Liverpool would want £50million for him. Would they get it now after this? I'm not sure because there's a little bit more baggage with him," the former Reds striker explained.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed a superb season with Brendan Rodgers' side, scoring 23 goals and creating five more from 33 Premier League games. He has a season's total of 30 goals and five assists from 44 games.
Numbers like these have attracted attention from top European clubs, with rumours linking the South American to a £40m transfer to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. The Bavarians are in similarly irrepressible form, having clinched the German title in record time and destroyed Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of a Champions League semi final.
However, Aldridge is quick to point out that his former club would be better off retaining Suarez, if they can convince him to repay the debt he owes them.
"Liverpool Football Club have done everything in their means for the player. He is adored, even with all the stuff that he has done in the past, by the fans and the management," the 54-year-old claimed, adding, "I think he knows he owes the club and has to stay. He's imperative for the club to move forward and to get them into the Champions League. But he needs help."
Rodgers: We Are More Than Suarez
Meanwhile, Rodgers has praised his players after the 6-0 demolition of Newcastle United on Saturday. The Reds visited St James' Park without Suarez but a brace each from England internationals Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge ensured an emphatic result. The win means Liverpool remain five points behind local rivals Everton, who beat Fulham 1-0 on the same day.
"We're certainly no one-man team - we're very much a collective and the focus and concentration from the group today was very good. I've never thought that we rely on Luis. He's been an outstanding player for us this season and I'm sure he'll continue to be," the northern Irishman said.
Liverpool have the chance to narrow the gap to David Moyes' Toffees next weekend, when Everton visit for the Merseyside derby.