It has been said in recent weeks that despite his superb goal scoring record, Luis Suarez tends to disappear against the best opposition. He has done little to silence his critics recently as he has failed to score in Liverpool’s last two Premier League games, first at Manchester City and then at Chelsea.
Before this stretch, Suarez had found the net 19 times in 12 league games. Add his five assists to that total, and it is easy to see why the Uruguayan has been the most in-form striker in the world. Yet, Suarez has only scored three times against clubs in the top-10: one against a good Everton team, and two against a bad Tottenham club.
But a forward of Suarez’s quality should not only be judged by his goal scoring ability. The forward is also a creator for the Reds and is always looking to bring teammates into the play. His eye for the pass as well as the goal has seen him create a team-best 44 chances so far this season. That is two behind Philippe Coutinho and Rahim Sterling combined.
Yet, the focus is on games against top-quality opponents, of which Luis has only played against three this season. League leaders Arsenal played the rude hosts and handled the Merseyside club 2-0 at the Emirates. Manchester City and Chelsea both emerged victorious over Suarez’s Liverpool 2-1. In those three games, he has created nine chances, but none of them were assists.
As stated before, goals aren’t the only qualifier, yet Suarez has become Liverpool’s only true scoring threat. Not only that, top clubs have learned that if they cut out his supply, the rest of the game can be easily managed.
Liverpool, it seems, live and die by Suarez. It is hard to say that he is absent, but it is much easier to admit that he carries the team, especially with a recovering Daniel Sturridge. His dynamic runs are no use when the rest of the team cannot keep possession. His hold up play is worthless when the midfield is controlled by the opposition.
What it seems is that the Reds cannot hang with top teams, especially with basically no depth to speak of. If Liverpool hope to continue to push for the title, they will need to make some moves in January in support of their talisman. Suarez is still one of the most feared strikers in the world, and one that any team would sign if humanly possible.