Is Luis Suarez Too Selfish a Player to Fit in at Real Madrid?

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IJuly 3, 2013

Luis Suarez will bolster Real Madrid's attacking options
Luis Suarez will bolster Real Madrid's attacking optionsChris Brunskill/Getty Images

Now that the 2013 Confederations Cup is over, the future of Liverpool's Luis Suarez—amongst others—will be a "hot potato" topic that needs to be addressed. 

Suarez has made it clear during various interviews that he sees his future away from Anfield, so it would therefore benefit all parties if any deal were to conclude swiftly.

To that end, Marca (h/t Telegraph) report that the player has—whilst on duty with Uruguay at the tournament in Brazil—already agreed terms with Real Madrid, which has angered his Liverpool paymasters. 

Madrid appear to be wasting no time in bolstering their attacking options having already secured Isco on a five-year-deal and with a much-talked-about move for Gareth Bale also on the cards.

James Dickenson of the Express has already noted that Bale's agent is in the Spanish capital to discuss a move for his client.

Adding Suarez to the mix would be the icing on the cake for fans of Los Blancos.

But what are they getting for their money?

Suarez's disciplinary problems have been well documented—who can forget the unsavoury incidents with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and Manchester United's Patrice Evra?

Florentino Perez will be keen to restore Real's reputation after a series of damaging incidents, mainly involving outgoing manager Jose Mourinho.

The club can ill afford any further negative publicity, and Carlo Ancelotti has already installed Paul Clement—his assistant at Chelsea and Paris St. Germain—alongside Zinedine Zidane to help foster some dressing-room harmony.

His penchant for controversy aside, where Suarez excels is when he lets his football do the talking.

He's a great scorer of goals and capable of delightful moments of individual brilliance, but is he just too selfish?

On the evidence of last season, you would have to say "no." Suarez's passing stats compared to that of his contemporaries stack up. 

It might surprise many that the more celebrated duo of Bale and Robin van Persie did not complete as many passes as Suarez during the season.

If we look at how many of those were key passes, then the Liverpool man is out on his own—with Wayne Rooney in particular languishing way behind.

Five assists isn't perhaps the best return in the world, but one might argue that the superior movement of the Madrid forward line will create more chances for Suarez to showcase his passing range as well as his striking prowess.

The player has a preference for attacking from the wider areas, but should Madrid sign Bale then Suarez may be forced to move inside, with Cristiano Ronaldo completing a devastating front three.

Suarez has played there before, of course, with remarkable success—111 goals in 159 appearances for Ajax speaks for itself.

It's a goals-to-games ratio in the position that might have Madrid's current centre-forward, Karim Benzema, looking anxiously over his shoulder.

The Frenchman's recent prowess in front of goal is poor when compared with Suarez, and in fact Benzema also loses out in all other aspects of his game to the Uruguayan.

It may well be that Ancelotti decides to deploy Suarez in the deeper-lying false nine role, of course, where his evasiveness, trickery and movement are well documented.

Carl Markham of the Daily Mail reported Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' comments after a great individual performance from the Uruguayan against Newcastle: 

We play him (Suarez) in that false nine role. He's not a traditional No 9 who's up there, stood, static.

That's why when we get a number of players in who can work off his qualities, that's going to make us a real threat. 

I ask him to get on the move and get defenders out of their positions. 

His cleverness and movement at the moment is world class. It's then important that we've got men running in off that.

Indeed, where Suarez complements his team is in his work ethic.

He's a grafter who is certainly not frightened of putting in a shift, sometimes for little personal reward. 

Incisive and intelligent movement and the ability to open up spaces for teammates is a skill set in itself and one that Suarez has in abundance.

His industry during games has been a feature of his play for some time, and perhaps when we talk about selfishness we should remember that it's not always just about the statistics.


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