Luis Suarez to Barcelona: Liverpool can cope without the Uruguay star, says Phil Thompson

The former Liverpool defender says the club will continue to produce world-class talent regardless of Suarez's impending move to Barcelona

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The Independent Football

Liverpool will cope if Luis Suarez leaves the club this summer, according to club legend Phil Thompson.

The Uruguayan striker is currently appealing a four-month ban handed to him by FIFA after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but his days at Liverpool appear to be numbered after his latest controversy.

Suarez is reported to be on the verge of completing an £62 million deal to Barcelona, with the only stumbling block being that Alexis Sanchez would prefer not to move to Liverpool.

And while Thompson believes that the Reds will inevitably miss Suarez, who scored 30 Premier League goals last season, the club will continue to produce quality players.

"Liverpool Football Club is bigger than any individual," Thompson told the Liverpool Echo.

"Players will always move on but this club will still be here in another 100 years time.”

“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."

In spite of his list of controversial incidents since joining the club in 2011 for £22.8 million, Suarez has struck a strong rapport with the fans at Anfield. And Thompson says the younger fans will be affected by the 27-year-old's departure.

He added: “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.

“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."