When Luis Suarez sank his teeth into the ample arm of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the tail end of last season, many Liverpool fans fully expected that the little Uruguayan may be on the move in the summer. With a number of well publicised and strange bids form Arsenal amongst others rebuffed by the club however, Suarez was compelled to stay. Now approaching the turn of the year, with a new contract rumoured to contain a salary in the region of £200k per month, Liverpool are on the charge and Suarez has scored 13 goals in his last five games.
Goals of course, despite being the currency of the game, are not the only arbiter of class, and the performances of Suarez and the sheer poetry of the goals he has scored speak of a player at the absolute peak of his powers, with an outstanding claim to be the prime talent in the Premier League, perhaps even in the world.
Of course, over in Spain, the duo of Ronaldo and Messi may have something to say about that, and even Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery is seeking to muscle in on the argument. Clearly these players are outstanding talents, but being a flat track bully knocking over the skittles for Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga, or for the dominant Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga is very different to the regular intense battles that stack up in Premier League, week after week. that said, Suarez now has scored more goals than any other player in Europe's top leagues - oh yes, and this, of course, is after being banned for the first five games of the season after that infamous nibble on the Serb's forearm.
The old maxim is that form is fleeting, but class is for ever, so perhaps it's a bit early to make a claim for Suarez as the worlds's best player when the likes of Ronaldo and Messi in particular have been strutting their stuff for season after season - and often in the highest level of games.
It's a fair call, but all you can ever do is to call it on the day, and it would be interesting to question a few Premier League fans and ask them who, if they had the pick of the world's best footballers, they would add to their team. I'm thinking that more than a few would go for Suarez, and after watching the past few performances, it would be difficult to argue.