By Bhas Kunju
With Luis Suarez's transfer situation dragging on, as the player denied agreeing to stay at Liverpool, just hours after an interview in Uruguay where he had allegedly pledged his stay at Anfield, Stephane Henchoz, the former Reds defender, feels it is time the forward left the club.
"I think he has to leave," was Henchoz's frank reply in an exclusive interview with Goal Singapore when asked about Suarez's future
"Because obviously he showed that he didn’t want to play for Liverpool anymore with the comments he made. Of course he will be a loss but if he doesn’t want to be here [at Liverpool], having somebody on the training ground every day who doesn’t want to be here is not something you handle in the longer term.
"He is not training the way he should be training. At the end of the day, what can you do?
"Obviously he has a contract, you can say yes you have to stay and play for Liverpool, but it is not in his heart. I don’t think he is going to perform when you don’t want to be at that place."
The former Swiss international who won a historic Cup treble with Liverpool in 2000/01 also conceded that the Uruguayan's departure would be a difficult prospect for the club, especially given the short time frame.
"But the club is in a very difficult and uncomfortable situation because of Suarez," he added.
"Two weeks before the window closes, where are Liverpool going to find the replacement? I don’t know."
"Once again they have to take a gamble on somebody, who is not a top striker.
"It’s not easy in the Premier League, it’s getting tougher and tougher. Now you have Manchester City, five years ago, Man City were nowhere really. Now they are probably going to take the top four spots.
"You have Manchester United obviously. Chelsea have Mourinho back. Arsenal, Tottenham, last two years they have been competing for the top four spots. Liverpool ended up seventh last season, so hopefully they can improve this season."
Henchoz will feature for the Liverpool All Stars side at the Singapore leg of the EPL Masters series in October and was in town for the press conference announcing the launch of the event.