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Is Luis Suarez the best striker in the world?

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After his single-handed destruction of Norwich City on Wednesday night, Luis Suarez now has 13 league goals in just nine appearances this season. It is not normally the kind of goalscoring that the Premier League sees.

In 2013, the Uruguayan has 36 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions for club and country. With statistics like these, does Suarez have the right to claim that he is currently the best striker in the world?

We are of course working under the assumption here that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not strikers in the conventional sense of the word. Forwards yes, strikers no.

Where would we look, then, for competitors to Suarez?

In France, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his team-mate Edison Cavani and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao might feel they can lay claim to the title. Few players have been so consistent over such a long period of time as the Swede, and Falcao has risen in recent years to become one of the most highly-rated in Europe. 

Over in Spain, only Diego Costa could arguably compete for the title. The Brazilian (or Spaniard now, of course) striker has been in fine form so far this season, and with 15 La Liga goals in as many games so far this season is behind only the mighty CR7 in the scoring charts. 

The Bundesliga will no doubt want to throw Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski into the mix, whilst back in the Premier League there is Sergio Aguero and Robin van Persie.

I'd argue though, that as it stands, Suarez has just two potential competitors for the crown. Ibrahimovic and Aguero.

In a far too basic summary of the reasons why, Falcao needs to be playing at a bigger club, Diego Costa needs to prove himself over a longer course of time, Lewandowski and Cavani just aren't quite at the same level of the others and van Persie's performances have dipped slightly in 2013, despite a solid goal return.

Ibra has managed 39 goals for club and country in 49 games, and Aguero has managed a similar rate of 28 in 40. Both have begun this campaign in the form of their lives.

And both are very different players but very equal threats. Zlatan likes the ball into feet, he is big, terrifying and superb at holding the ball up, whereas Aguero is lightning-quick and loves to use his pace and movement in the box or to run in behind.

But the Argentine was far from his best last season, and in terms of longevity and consistency, it is the PSG striker who has it down (though he is older to be fair). 

Manchester City's manager, Manuel Pellegrini, clearly rates his forward the highest.

"I think Kun [Aguero], after Messi and Ronaldo, is [in] the top three players in the world," he said in an interview with ESPN. Making him the best striker, if we are still working under the assumption that the other two aren't.

If you wanted an opinion on Zlatan's credentials, you need look no further than the man himself. 

"A World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup," he said, according to BBC Sport. It is quite a convincing argument. 

But are either better than Suarez? Some of his performances lately, culminating in his double-brace (hat trick-plus-one?) against Norwich on Wednesday night have been absolutely off the scale.

“He deserves mention with Messi and Ronaldo,” said Brendan Rodgers, according to the Irish Independent. “For a few years they have been out on their own, but Luis is still only 26 and still making improvements to his game".

Working against Suarez is the fact that he can't showcase his skills this season in the Champions League - barring a dramatic January move - but he also managed more goals per game than the other two whilst playing in a genuinely inferior team.

You feel as though, with Cavani lurking, PSG could survive without Ibra, and Manchester City could just about cope without Aguero.

But Liverpool without Suarez? That would be a problem. 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Luis Suarez

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

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