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Is Luis Suarez needed at Anfield anymore?
On the face of evidence presented by Liverpool’s sterling display of attacking prowess in Suarez’s absence towards the tail end of last season including a 6-1 demolition of Newcastle, it would seem the Merseyside outfit can well hold their own without their much publicized striker.
Daniel Sturridge has scored 10 goals in EPL 14 matches for Liverpool since joining from Chelsea, a stunning goal-scoring record start to his Anfield career that is the most prolific in Liverpool history, better than Liverpool greats Robbie Fowler, Torres and Suarez’s. A player whose transfer was viewed with much skepticism by critics, he has so quickly established himself as a favorite at Anfield but our focus is not so much on the goals as on when he scored them. Of his 10 EPL goals last season, 5 came in the 4 matches when Suarez was out suspended while he only managed the remaining 5 over 10 matches when Suarez was on the field.
The transformation in fortune was not limited to Sturridge, Rodger’s new Brazilian wonder-boy Coutinho’s flurry of assists, Man-of-the-match displays against Newcastle and his stunning 25-yarder which claimed victory for the Kop over QPR were without Suarez’s input. The overall effectiveness of the team too was greatly increased scoring 10 of their total 71 goals in those four matches when Suarez was suspended an impressive 2.5 goal/match ratio and a massive improvement on their season’s performance up till then that saw even the much maligned pair of Jordan Henderson and Fabio Borini net goals. So one might be forgiven for thinking that although highly influential, Suarez hampers the expressiveness and effectiveness of the team as a whole.
The gradual but sure emergence of attacking talents Suso, Jordan Ibe, Raheem Sterling, coupled with the arrival of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto will further beef up Liverpool’s already impressive attacking options and offloading Suarez may prove to be a gambit that will lessen the fierce competition for starting berths next season allowing these players to flourish not forgetting that getting a transfer fee in the region of £40million or upwards will also be a massive recoup on the £23 million spent on him some two years ago easily netting Liverpool some cool £20 million profit on their investment.
And finally, it never pays to keep an unhappy player and upset your team ambience and dressing-room chemistry. So now might be the best time for Brendan Rodgers to cash in on his petulant Uruguayan who can never seem to get out of the cross-hairs of English press.
He wants to leave; let him already!
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