"In that form, Suarez is in the top five in the world," said Steve Clarke after the Uruguayan's stunning hat-trick against the Baggies at the weekend.

The Liverpool striker was magnificent, in just his fourth league game back he'd hit his sixth Premier League goal.

But is he really one of the world's top five strikers? Here, we consider the contenders before we ask you to rank them in an order.

All good strikers are measured in goals scored, and we'll be doing just that here. But also taken into consideration will be strength of opposition and goals-per-minutes.

Just for the avoidance of doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi will not be included - they may score a bucket load of goals, but they're not "strikers".

So what's his competition. By our reckoning it's these guys...

Radamel Falcao

Edinson Cavani

Sergio Aguero

Robin van Persie

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Would you take Suarez over any of these? Well, one has to miss out to make the top five. Who would you choose? Lets look at some stats.

Last season the Liverpool star had 33 goals in 48 appearances - only Aguero and Falcao scored fewer (although Falcao had 32 in 37, a much better strike rate).

So, Suarez over Aguero? The Argentinian is a year younger, and while he had an off year last season, he's back on top form in 2013/14.

But, look closer and a clearer picture emerges. As recent analysis by the Manchester Evening News shows, Suarez averages a goals every 59.8 minutes versus Aguero's 84.1, and he creates an opportunity every 39.8 minutes versus Aguero's 53.8.

Discipline obviously lets the Anfield man down, you can't be considered great if you can't stay on the field. His lengthy bans for various indiscretions hurt his team, and in a team sport, that matters even if it's Suarez the individual letting himself down.

A word of caution. These statistics are taken from an extremely small sample - we've only played nine Premier League games this season so far.

So lets compare Van Persie and Suarez last season, across the whole campaign. The Dutchman averaged a Premier League goal every 120.1 minutes. Suarez? Every 128.5 minutes. And the Dutchman scored four penalties to Suarez's zero.

If Van Persie makes the top five in the world, and most agree he would, then the Liverpool forward is in the conversation too.

Looking at another top five contender - Radamel Falcao.

Last year for Atletico Madrid, the Colombian international bagged a goal every 103.7 minutes putting him at the head of the pile at this stage. That's until Edinson Cavani arrives with his 102.8-minutes-per-goal ratio for Napoli last term.

Then there's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In his first year at PSG, the Ligue 1 top scorer notched every 99 minutes, putting him clear as the goal-scoring king.

So does this mean Ibrahimovic is undisputed number one in the world? Well, a few other things have to be considered - age, style of play and personality. Suarez at 26 and Aguero and 25 are more valuable than Ibrahimovic at 32.

But he's clearly a definite for the top five.

But we want you to rank your very own top five - for our money, Ibra is number one, followed by Van Persie, Falcao, Liverpool's Suarez then Aguero.

But leave your own in the comment box below and lets get the debate going!

Topics:
Football
Liverpool