With Luis Suarez about to make his long awaited return at Old Trafford in the League Cup this week, I will look to see if the Uruguayan actually is their best player.
He will return after a ten match ban, in all competitions, for biting Branislav Ivanovic’s arm at Anfield in April. The officials failed to notice the incident, so therefore the FA took action. Also in the game, the striker scored the equaliser to deny Chelsea all three points which further added to Chelsea’s misery that day.
I have spoken about his disciplinary record in previous posts so I won’t mention it again, I will talk about what he does when he is actually playing.
He is on paper the best player at Liverpool because he is world class, no question about that. In some games last season he dragged his team across the line, he scored 23 league goals in all which made him the second highest goalscorer in the Premier League last year.
I don’t think that Suarez is as influential as people think. Ask yourself who was the most influential last season for their respective club Bale or Suarez? For me it is Bale because acted as if he was the only man in the team.
Since the turn of the year and Brendan Rodgers made the signings of Sturridge and Coutinho, I think that the men in form for Liverpool have been the new additions; Daniel Sturridge has finally found the opportunity to play in the position he favours which is as a central striker instead of on the right side of the attack. He along with Liverpool as a whole have improved vastly in 2013 and they have been the in form side in the league this year.
The number 15 has become a fan’s favourite along with Coutinho with his outstanding performances on the pitch. He is scoring for fun, and has found the net in every league game so far this season. He has been a key player in the front three along with Aspas and Coutinho this campaign.
He doesn’t only put the ball in the back of the net because he links up play with the other two front men. They rotate and all of them have a speciality.
The other key player for Rodgers is Phillipe Coutinho who signed from Inter Milan in January. He has instantly flourished under Brendan because he suits his philosophy and the Brazilian is at the centre of the gaffer’s plans.
The number ten hasn’t been playing in his favourites position as of late because of the lack of left wingers at the club. Although he does play in the number ten role as much as possible by cutting inside which makes Jose Enrique play as the left winger a well as the left back.
Coutinho would ideally like to link the play between the midfield and the forwards. He creates chances, he is a team player like the rest of the team. He slides balls through to team mates especially Sturridge to score the goals. They are forming a great relationship which could install a fear factor back at Anfield in a couple of years.
Luis Suarez is a selfish player who looks to create and convert chances by himself. Take the goal against Newcastle last season for example, no doubt it was a world class goal. If you take a closer look at it, it is a high ball forward which Suarez latched on to and he used his chest control and skill to take it beyond the keeper to have a simple tap in.
Brendan Rodgers has found replacements for his star striker because he wants to build a team not an ego. I can’t see where Suarez would fit in to the side apart from just behind Sturridge unless he is used as a back up striker, and he definitely won’t want that. His return to the side is timed well with the injury to Coutinho ensuing Luis will make the starting eleven regularly and get a chance to stake a claim back in the side.
But in January, with a fit again Coutinho I would sell Suarez, but not to a rival and get the £40m plus that clubs are willing to pay for a striker of that quality and calibre. He is spectacular with the ball, but he doesn’t offer a lot to Rodgers apart from a plan B. I admire Suarez and I think that it would suit all parties if he were to depart Anfield in 2014.
The question you have got to ask yourself is, have Liverpool missed Luis Suarez?