Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has been likened to Swedish maverick Zlatan Ibrahimovic by teammate Mamadou Sakho, following news the Uruguayan was named Premier League Player of the Month on Friday.
Suarez picked up the gong after his outstanding contribution to the Liverpool cause in December, and Sakho—who has played with both players—says Ibrahimovic is no better than his current colleague.
Luis Suarez is in the same category as Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He's among the top five strikers in the world right now. They have different qualities, but they are both machines.
Luis Suarez is also a cool guy. He likes to joke around in the dressing room. He even tries to speak French sometimes with his funny accent. He's a good guy, contrary to the image he has. I also thought that when I arrived, but I soon understood that he was someone who's prepared to do everything to win, but he's a good person.
Suarez was magnificent throughout the month of December, scoring 10 goals as Liverpool maintained their push not only for a spot in the top four but also the league title. He was rightly awarded for his efforts:
BREAKING: Luis Suarez wins the Barclays December player of the month award, and Pellegrini wins the manager's award pic.twitter.com/7Kdhv8hyIT— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) January 10, 2014
In total, Suarez has netted 20 league strikes in 15 appearances this term. He sits atop the Premier League goal-scoring charts, despite missing a large chunk of the campaign through suspension.
|West Ham||4-1 W||2|
|Man City||2-1 L||0|
By contrast, Ibrahimovic has netted 15 goals in 18 league outings for Paris Saint-Germain, per WhoScored. The Swede has scored a further eight in the Champions League.
Ibrahimovic was unlucky to be left off the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award this year, as stated by Franck Ribery, per ESPN.
Sakho’s praise for Suarez indicates he believes the Liverpool man can challenge for the title of world’s best player in 2014.
Who is better?
Suarez’s goals and assists in December led to 12 points for Liverpool, with the Uruguayan playing a key part in wins over Norwich, West Ham, Tottenham and Cardiff.
Ultimately, to prove himself equal—or superior—to Ibrahimovic, Suarez must play at Europe’s highest level in the Champions League.
That is Liverpool’s chief aim this season, and Sakho will hope Suarez continues to plunder goals in pursuit of it.