Liverpool crisis: Borini out, can Suarez handle the pressure?
Under-fire Uruguayan must deal with diving row and lead the Liverpool line on his own
LUIS SUAREZ better not get banned for diving in the next few weeks, as that would leave Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers without any recognised senior strikers after Fabio Borini broke his foot on international duty with Italy.
The young Italian fractured a bone in his right foot while training with the Italian under-21 squad ahead of their match against Sweden, he is expected to be out for up to three months, according to The Times.
"The injury to Borini will inevitably prompt further scrutiny of Liverpool's transfer dealings in the summer when they allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham United on a season long loan without a replacement being signed," notes the paper and it leaves Rodgers "nervously awaiting" the safe return of Suarez from international duty with Uruguay.
Liverpool's failure to secure a third and fourth senior striker has "rebounded spectacularly" says The Guardian. "Besides Suarez, the Liverpool manager has only the reserve striker Daniel Pacheco plus the youngsters Samed Yesil, Adam Morgan and the 16-year-old Jerome Sinclair as alternatives during Borini's absence."
But it could have been worse for Rodgers, whose Liverpool team are languishing in 14th place in the Premier League with one win in seven games. Goal.com points out that although he is one of only two strikers in the Liverpool squad Borini has made little or no impact this season, with one goal in ten games. He also has the worst pass completion ratio out of all of Liverpool's outfield players.
It suggests that winger Oussama Assaidi or Spanish starlet Suso, who is ready to sign a new contract at Anfield, could replace the Italian in the side.
Whoever takes over from Borini, it is Suarez who is now under the most pressure. He scored just 11 goals last season and needs to drastically improve on that return. He must also keep his cool as he comes under heavy and sustained attack over claims that he is a diver. He is also two yellow cards away from a ban.
Amid the furore over diving, the Uruguay FA has written to Fifa to complain about the criticism being levelled at the player. The Daily Telegraph reports that it took action after Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce singled out Suarez and described diving as a "cancer".
His club are not best pleased either. "Liverpool have become increasingly concerned Suarez is being persecuted, in this case for actions which hundreds of players – from home and abroad – have indulged," reports the paper.