Lambert can shine in Suarez's absence, insists Liverpool legend Kennedy

The England striker, who completed his move to the Anfield club prior to the World Cup, is backed to flourish while the Uruguay striker serves his four-month ban for biting

Former Liverpool star Alan Kennedy believes another lengthy Luis Suarez ban will give new signing Rickie Lambert a golden chance to make an immediate impression.

The 32-year-old completed a return to Anfield earlier in June following a £4 million move from Southampton and will now be expected to share the goalscoring burden alongside Sturridge in the absence of Suarez, who was banned by Fifa for four months on Tuesday for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

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And the ex-defender now believes that the Uruguayan’s absence could be the making of Lambert as it was for Daniel Sturridge when he impressed during Suarez’s ban at the start of last season.

Kennedy, who won five league titles and two European Cup during his time at Liverpool, told Goal: “I really rate Lambert but I was worried he might have been frustrated at starting next season on the bench.

“With Suarez now missing, Lambert will get a chance to link up with Daniel Sturridge and what I’ve seen of them briefly with England. The combination could be Liverpool’s future and England’s immediate future, too.

“There is always someone who benefits from another’s misfortune, and it is never more so than in football. Lambert has a great chance to hit the ground running at Liverpool and he has to make the most of it.

“Don’t get me wrong, Suarez is the best player at the club and will walk back in the team when he serves out his ban, but Liverpool need to have a strong squad to win silverware and giving Lambert time on the pitch will benefit all concerned.”

Kennedy believes that Liverpool have been unfairly treated by football’s governing body and should appeal against the four-month Suarez ban.

“The club has done nothing wrong and yet finds itself losing not just any player, but its best player,” he added. "I don’t know if an appeal would be successful, but surely there is a strong case.

“Manager Brendan Rodgers and some of the more experienced players at the club made a big effort last season to help rehabilitate Suarez after his last ban.

“The club can easily demonstrate that it did all it could to solve the problem and so why should it and the club’s fans around the world be punished?”