Why Luis Suarez Is the Most Lethal Striker in the English Premier League

Benjy Egel@@BenjyEgelCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2013

Luis Suarez accepts your praise with open arms.
Luis Suarez accepts your praise with open arms.Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool star Luis Suarez, the object of many clubs’ transfer window desires, has established himself as the English Premier League’s top striker.

Suarez’s reputation has been sullied by on-field controversy, such as the racial controversy with Manchester United and two separate biting incidents. The Uruguayan’s skill as a player, though, cannot be disputed.

While he operates as the Reds’ top goalscorer, Suarez’s physicality and touch allow him to play anywhere up top. Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp told The Daily Mail’s Laura Williamson that Suarez could fit any offensive position.

In fact, Suarez’s control of his dribble has led to the creation of a Facebook page called "Luis Suarez could nutmeg a mermaid." His ability to slot the ball through opponents’ legs is unrivaled in the Premier League. 

Liverpool are demanding a sum similar to Gareth Bale’s £100 million if the high-energy striker is to transfer, Express writer Mike Carey reports. Suarez netted 23 goals to Bale’s 21, and though Bale is a winger, he served as the Spurs’ main attacker last season.

Only Robin Van Persie scored more goals than Suarez last year, but Van Persie played in five more games than Suarez. Since Suarez scored in 69.7 percent of his matches and missed contests against pushovers Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham, he would have likely made up the three-goal differential.

Manchester United and Liverpool are also very different clubs. Defenders must also mind Van Persie’s talented team-mates like Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Chicharito.

Other than Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, Suarez had no quality offensive mates to distract opposing full-backs. Liverpool’s seventh-place finish was disappointing, but the Reds would have been near the bottom without Suarez.

Before joining Liverpool, Suarez tore up the Eredivisie with Ajax, scoring 81 goals in 110 league games and averaging one goal for each of his 12 Dutch FA Cup matches.

Suarez has also proven himself on the international scale. He scored three goals alongside Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan in the 2010 World Cup, and though Suarez’s famous handball caused an international controversy, Uruguay was boosted into the semi-finals.

In the previous game against South Korea, Suarez scored both goals in his country’s 2-1 victory, including a miraculous 80th-minute strike.

Uruguay has faltered in 2014 World Cup qualifying matches, but Suarez has done his part with eight goals in 12 games.

Suarez is worth more than just a cheap finish; his numbers hold up for statheads as well. WhoScored.com writer Ben McAleer found Suarez dribbled past an opponent more than any other Premier League rival.

To calculate each player’s true worth in a single numeric score, WhoScored.com uses a formula of games played, goals, assists, successful passing percentage, yellow and red cards, shots per game, aerial duals won per game and Man of the Match awards.

Among EPL players, only Bale was able to match Suarez’s score of 7.89, with Van Persie recording a 7.68. A number of renowned international strikers such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski scored lower than Suarez.

A strong shooting leg, quick first step and deft ball control make Suarez a remarkable player trapped on an underwhelming team. If he signs with a better team, he will be appropriately recognized as the best striker in England.


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