Suarez £23m deal: Epic Liverpool fail or the real start of the Dalglish era?

After a week of negotiations both Ajax and Liverpool got what they wanted. Well, sort of… The Reds wanted Suarez badly but did not want to pay more than £15 million. The Amsterdam side were at first reluctant to let their star striker go. However, they received the offer they wanted, which came in handy, considering Ajax’ financial woes with a debt of £20 million.

So who has Kenny Dalglish lured into Anfield? Here are a few stats to accompany the Uruguayan international’s career:

Nacional – 2005/2006                       games/goals:             29 – 12
FC Groningen – 2006/2007               games/goals:             29 – 10
AJAX – 2007/2011                            games/goals:          159 – 111

A total of 133 goals out of 217 matches is not at all bad for a player who just turned 24, but is he worth over £20 million, considering he only played in small leagues?

Let’s have a look at his strong points. He can play on every position up front. In the national team he is second striker to Diego Forlan and at Ajax he used to play on both wings alongside Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Mounir El Hamdoui . If they were injured he ran up front as a lone striker which, as his stats prove, did not stop him putting the ball in the back of the net.

Then there is his desire to win. Of course, for the amount of money most Ajax players earn, you should always be motivated. However, Suarez is extraordinary. During the full 90 minutes he never seems to get tired and he just keeps on pestering the opposition’s defence. He also does whatever it takes to win, as we saw in de quarter finals of the World Cup.

More importantly, he is the kind of player who makes the important goals in the difficult moments during a match. He is no Messi or Bergkamp, but he can score goals from angles and positions nobody else thought of. So when Suarez is on the pitch you know something is going to happen.

That is exactly what Liverpool need. With the likes of Gerrard, Torres and Kuyt, the Reds have a few players who can spur on the squad. But with the captain out with an injury and the Spanish number nine eying a move to Chelsea, Liverpool can use a player who gives everything and motivates a team in a tough stage during a match or even a season.

But with Suarez’s passion and desire to win come a few problems. He is a bad actor which leads to dreadful dramatic dives, moaning at the ref and asking for other players to be booked. Wingers like Robben and Ronaldo were not popular outside their clubs’ gates while playing in the Premier League and Suarez will encounter the same adversity.

In his never ending motivation, the right footed attacker sometimes looses his composure to overlook a game. He will just keep on going at the defence without using the rest of the team. This resulted many times in a last minute goal and the all important three points for Ajax. However, the Premier League is a bit different from the Eredivisie. The English top flight is, arguably, the hardest league in the world and Suarez he will not get away with choosing the longer road to the opposition’s goal, blanking his teammates along the way.

Also, Suarez’s ego needs to be kept happy. As long as he is the centre of attention he does not mind which position he is playing. However, as soon as lead scorer Huntelaar left Ajax, Suarez played his best football. Also, when El Hamdaoui arrived in Amsterdam last summer, the Urugyan became frustrated he had to share his monopoly on goals. The question for Kenny Dalglish will be if he can get Suarez to play for the team, alongside all the other big names.

So is Luis going to be a revelation at Liverpool? He certainly has the potential. I see him as a young Tevez, who is strong with the ball and can play anywhere on the pitch. He combines his skill with Dirk Kuyt’s work rate and a young Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘annoy’ factor. This means if Suarez does well, he will become a cult hero at Anfield and much hated and feared at every away game.

Stef Meens

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