WITH the current form of Liverpool’s Luis Suárez and the sort of season he has had, some fans of the club are understandably worried about the consequences that playing Daniel Sturridge may have on Suárez’s game.
Luis Suárez has, unquestionably, seen a very productive spell playing at centre-forward for Liverpool but there can be no doubting that his game is much more versatile and adaptable than that of the newly signed Sturridge.
The player acquired from Chelsea is an out-and-out goal scorer who would be best suited by occupying the space in the middle. This reference point gives Suárez the freedom to roam the final third of the pitch and pick his channels to attack and exploit with his scintillating runs and dribbles.
Liverpool fans can expect to see a revised edition of Brendan Rodgers’ favoured 4-3-3 formation with the front three regularly featuring Suárez, Sturridge, and the final spot being filled by a winger such as Sterling or Downing. This will allow the Reds to fluidly vary their attacking threat in game while also stretching the width of the field and exploiting the space offered in the attacking third.
The attention from opposing defenders that Suárez is sure to garner will allow Daniel Sturridge to make runs at the defence and get in the space behind them. Furthermore, the addition of Daniel Sturridge in the centre of the attack will ease the weight on Suárez’s shoulders as the new addition will be keen to have more of the ball and won’t be afraid to take shots on goal.
As the old adage goes, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’. Many will firmly believe that tampering with Suárez while he’s having such a run of form could be devastating. One need not look further than the performance of Suárez at his former club to find reassurance.
While at Ajax Luis Suárez played behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar; a typical number 9. The statistics speak for themselves: 111 goals in 159 games for Suárez while playing behind Huntelaar and a combined 49 Eredivisie goals in 2007-08 for the pair.
While the difference in quality between Huntelaar and Sturridge can be argued, the fact that Suárez has had this experience should come as a reassuring sign to many Liverpool fans. If the Uruguayan was capable of playing in behind a finisher as one-dimensional as the Dutch international there is no reason to doubt the ability of Suárez to continue his form alongside of Sturridge. A player as talented as Luis Suárez will be able to adapt to an improvised position and continue to stamp his authority on the game.