Banned for the first five games of the season and seen as a piece that was teetering on the edge of being more “problem” than “solution” for Liverpool, Luis Suarez seemed destined to depart his English club for greener/Champions League pastures at the end of the 2013/14 season. With the attitude of the whiny Uruguayan during the summer having most speculating that his performances for Liverpool would be poor, it seemed unlikely that Suarez would be seeing Champions League football provided by Liverpool and his sale would be forced through.
Now, thirty goals and an impressive number of assists later, Suarez has been the catalyst that has pushed Liverpool back into the competition that Anfield demands and actually has Liverpool fans hoping (albeit hoping that City stumbles more than Liverpool succeeds) for a possible Premier League title. His work effort as a striker is second to none and he is, easily, the hardest attacker for Premier League defenses to keep track of for 90 minutes. While Sturridge and other Liverpool attackers have also been finding the back of the net with impressive regularity, it takes very little courage to say that Sturridge and the others would probably have their goal totals slashed in half without teams having to also focus on El Pistolero and without Suarez providing them with so many promising chances.
While there have been other impressive players in the Premier League this season, Suarez would probably be flirting with 40 league goals this season if he had not been absent for the first five matches of the season. It is also difficult to add-in the club’s accomplishments with a player when deciding who should win this award, but Liverpool’s jump from the second-best club in their own city to one of the best clubs in all of England (maybe even Europe?) this season has to be attributed to the other-worldly level play of Suarez. Considering the amount of goals that Liverpool have allowed this season, they would probably be battling for Europa League spots (at best) if Suarez was not playing at this level.
If his conduct remains as impressive as it has been this season and he keeps up any semblance of the form he is currently in, he has the ability to become one of the greatest players that Liverpool (and even England) will have ever seen. The only thing that should scare Liverpool fans would be that his stellar play will have caught the interest of clubs with the resources available to tempt the sale of Suarez. Still, from that perspective, Suarez’s play this season (and his new contract) will have increased his transfer fee by incredible amounts. If Liverpool are to experience any type of CL success and remain in Champions League contention next season, the Uruguayan forward will be absolutely pivotal.
In parting, if Suarez is not (at least) on the shortlist for the upcoming Ballon D’Or…then somebody has messed up. If the striker is able to carry his form into Brazil this summer, underestimating Uruguay would be at your own peril. Suarez deserved this award, and he has made it where Liverpool deserves Champions League football. Impressive for a man that was only seen as a cannibal and racist around one year ago…very impressive…
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