Football

Fernando Torres v Luis Suarez: Who is the better striker?

Suarez has been in fine form for Liverpool this season (©GettyImages)
Suarez has been in fine form for Liverpool this season (©GettyImages).

The form of Luis Suarez this season has excited Liverpool fans about the future - if they can keep hold of their star man. Nobody has generated such hysteria around Anfield for years - nobody except Fernando Torres. 

So let's take a closer look at the two strikers and compare their time on Merseyside. 

This comparison will only work if we consider Torres's form at Liverpool and ignore his dismal spell at Chelsea. Torres arrived on English shores with a fairly big reputation, having scored 75 times in 174 La Liga games. He joined Liverpool in a deal worth a reported £20m and smashed their transfer record in doing so. Over the next three-and-a-half years, Torres elevated his game and became the world's most feared forward.

He became the quickest player in Liverpool's history to reach 50 league goals - surpassing legends such as Ian Rush, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. 

His first season in English football was rampant as his 24 league goals fired Liverpool to 4th place. His first league goal was against Chelsea on August 19 2007, his Anfield debut. The Spaniard would go on to score seven times against the Blues, who soon learned if you can't stop him, sign him!

El Nino's game was about pace; if he had just a single yard on a defender, then they were left for dead. A quick drop of the shoulder and he rifled past his man, usually firing precisely into the back of the net. He would go on to score in a record-equalling eight consecutive Anfield games, climaxing with the only goal against Manchester City on May 4 2008. 

His golden right foot won the hearts of every Liverpool fan as he surpassed Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of most goals by a foreign player during his debut season in England with 24 goals. Torres was named in the FIFPro World Team of the Year for both 2008 and 2009, an honour which demonstrated just how big an impact he had at Liverpool.

However, a £50m deal to Chelsea made Torres the record Premier League transfer and brought an end to his time on Merseyside. Cue Liverpool's crazy spending spree. The less said about Andy Carroll's £35m move the better, but for a bargain £22.8m - considering Carroll's fee - Suarez joined from Ajax.

His first full season with the Reds brought both ups and downs. He was crowned the sixth best player in the world at the 2011 Ballon d'Or ceremony and won his first major trophy in England, winning the League Cup. He also scored 11 league goals, but could have had more if it wasn't for his eight-game ban. He was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United in October and then refused to shake his hand the following February.

The 2012/13 season has seen Suarez make the headlines for the right reasons. With 22 goals and counting he is the current leading scorer in the league. He has scored hat-tricks away at both Norwich and Wigan and scored his 50th Liverpool goal in his 91st appearance. His goals are firing Liverpool to mount a late challenge for fourth place and whenever Liverpool seem to play well, Suarez is inevitably at the heart of it. 

Suarez can play anywhere in the final third - he is agile, strong and tricky. He has the ability to create space in the tightest of situations and has also been praised for his relentless work-rate and willingness to win the ball back.

So who's better? It's a tough one to call. Along with Fowler, they are the only three players to have ever scored more than 20 Premier League goals in a single season for Liverpool. 

Torres has the stats to prove his claim that during his time at Liverpool he was the best striker in the world. There is also the fact that with Torres, Liverpool finished a league high of second, whereas Suarez's best finish is sixth place.

I would say that Torres was the better striker and the better goalscorer. His time at Anfield got off to a livelier start - he scored 13 goals more than Suarez did in his first full season. 

However, I would have to say Suarez is the more complete player. If he continues to perform at the level he has this season, then he will emulate El Nino's success. The dramatic fall of Torres has led to many Liverpool fans claiming they got a good deal by letting him go in exchange for Suarez - but I'm not so sure.

When they're both at their best, I'd rather have Torres as Suarez tends to miss more chances. Torres had the killer instinct; when he was one-on-one there was only one outcome. 

But Suarez tends to hit the woodwork a lot. Some will put this down to a lack of luck; I put it down to his lack calmness in front of goal. Torres scored a goal every 1.75 games for Liverpool, whereas Suarez scores every 1.84 games - the stats prove how close it is. 

But I would feel more confident that the old Torres would take his one chance rather than an in-form Suarez taking his.  

Who do you think is the best? Is it Torres or is it Suarez? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia.The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Football
Fernando Torres
Luis Suarez
Liverpool

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