Liverpool transfers: Reds will survive without Suárez, says ex-captain
Liverpool transfers: Phil Thompson is confident the Reds will unearth another star if Luis Suárez joins Barcelona
Phil Thompson is confident that Liverpool will cope without Luis Suarez if the Uruguayan completes a move to Barcelona.
Liverpool are thought to be close to agreeing a £63m fee with Barcelona for the sale of the 27-year-old, who is banned from all football-related activity for four months after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
The South American forward scored a staggering 31 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last season as the former Ajax captain scooped the PFA and FWA player of the year award in May.
Liverpool Football Club is bigger than any individual. Players will always move on but this club will still be here in another 100 years time
But former Liverpool skipper Thompson, who won three European Cups with the Merseyside club, feels the Reds will find another star to fill Suarez’s goal-scoring boots.
“From speaking to supporters, I think it’s the younger element of our fanbase who are particularly upset about the prospect of Luis Suarez going to Barcelona,” Thompson told the ECHO.
“They are more ready and willing to forgive and forget everything he’s done. I do sympathise with that as Suarez is the star player.
“Of course if he went there would be a big gap to fill. He either scored or was involved in 43% of our goals last season.
“As a fan you wonder where the next star is going to come from? But what I would say is that this football club has a habit of producing them.
“Liverpool Football Club is bigger than any individual. Players will always move on but this club will still be here in another 100 years time.”
Thompson pointed to Liverpool’s success at replacing Ian St John and Roger Hunt with Kevin Keegan, before signing Kenny Dalglish when the former England manager quit to join Hamburg.
“Back in my day I remember when Roger Hunt and Ian St John were coming to the end of their playing days,” Thompson added.
“There was a slight lull and then Kevin Keegan came along in 1971. He enjoyed worldwide acclaim and was a big success.
“He gave the club 12 months notice that he would be going but people were angry about losing Kevin.
“They were saying ‘why would he want to leave? And how would the club cope?’ Low and behold, the club came up with Kenny as his replacement.
“Kenny made a massive impact and took us to an even higher level. Over the years, Liverpool have been fortunate enough to have a succession of top-class strikers.”