During the 10-game ban that Luis Suarez has now almost completed, Liverpool have been a side in some of its best-ever Premier League form. But will his comeback disrupt the team?
There is no doubting that Suarez will always give any team something unique and dangerous. With the Uruguayan in the Liverpool side, it gives the opponents a task that is almost unmanageable. However, there is a chance that his return could not be as beneficial as some believe.
This season, Brendan Rodger‘s team has really looked far more cohesive. They have been able to deploy Daniel Sturridge up front as a man who takes the chances given to him, but allows those behind him to do the work in creating them. The likes of Philippe Coutinho and Iago Aspas have been great for him and team; they’ve been unselfish and providing for Sturridge.
Suarez may disrupt that. There is no denying that he can find goals and chances still, but will Sturridge be given those chances still?
It has always felt like Suarez has so many chances, but his conversion rate is actually quite poor. He would rather shoot from obscure angles than set someone else up. That is not always the case, but it does seem like Suarez’s brilliant playing style and quality actually distracts away from his lack of clinical finishing and the fact he becomes the main attacking outlet, meaning the rest of his teammates have to wait.
This Liverpool team is very different to the one we last saw Suarez play in. There are now very different wingers, different creative players and Steven Gerrard is playing superbly in a deeper role. However, it will have to change when Suarez comes back. Maybe not the lineup, but surely the dynamics.
There is a statistic that perhaps describes these ideas best: Liverpool have won more games without Suarez than with him in his time with the club. I’m not saying Suarez coming back is a bad thing, but it will be interesting to see if he does disrupt a group that is looking very strong currently.