Analysing the five main contenders linked with replacing Luis Suarez at Barcelona

Werner, Suarez & Jovic

Luis Suarez has already cemented his name in the book of Barcelona legends despite only making his first appearance for the club in October 2014.

Since then, the Uruguayan has been arguably the finest striker in world football, establishing one of the most potent partnerships ever seen with Lionel Messi.

Suarez has mustered a record of 168 goals in just 227 games in all competitions for Barcelona, while also recording 87 assists.

However, at 32, Suarez doesn't have many years left in the tank. A lot of his game is based on his exceptional physical attributes, which will become less effective with age.

It's also no secret that Barca are already scouting for a long-term replacement for the former Liverpool man.

There have been a select few names that have constantly been linked with taking over Suarez's throne and we've decided to analyse those five players.

At the end we will give our verdict on which young star is the best option for the Blaugrana.

TIMO WERNER (RB LEIPZIG)

The biggest household name on the list right now. Werner's stock has been steadily rising in Europe over the last few years with Leipzig after some tough times with Stuttgart.

It's easy to forget that Germany's number one striker is still only 22, mustering 45 Bundesliga goals in 82 appearances in the last two-and-a-half years.

Werner is also capable of playing out wide due to his electrifying pace, but Barca really need a player capable of holding up the ball and linking the play.

Werner with Leipzig

And it's here where Werner would possibly struggle with the Blaugrana. He spends a lot of the game looking to break away on the last shoulder of defenders.

Rarely do teams open up and offer that kind of space against Barca and Werner may struggle to offer the all-round game that Suarez has for so many years.

LUKA JOVIC (EINTRACHT FRANKFURT)

Prior to this season, few football fans were aware of the Serbian striker currently lighting up the Bundesliga.

Jovic has gone from unknown at Benfica to one of the most sought-after strikers in the world and has been linked with pretty much all of Europe's elite.

And the 21-year-old really does appear to have it all. Standing at 5'11", he's a handful to deal with physically and is also capable of making clever passes to his attacking teammates.

Jovic with Frankfurt

Jovic has thrived in a front three alongside Sebastian Haller and Ante Rebic at Frankfurt, with their interchanging movement and link-up play reminiscent of Barca at times.

He's not a bad finisher either, notching 14 league goals in 18 games.

NICOLAS PEPE (LILLE)

Despite spending the majority of the season with Lille on the right-wing, Pepe consistently makes the cut in shortlists to replace Suarez.

From a goal scoring perspective, it's no wonder why, with the 23-year-old Ivorian finding the back of the net 16 times in 23 games, while also setting up eight for his teammates.

Standing at 6'0" with pace to burn, Pepe is certainly a dynamic attacking weapon, but would he be capable of leading the line for Barca right now? Probably not.

Pepe with Lille

He's made it pretty clear that the right-wing is where he is most prolific and trying to shoehorn him into one of the most complex striker roles in Europe would not be easy.

With Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Malcom already options out wide for the Blaugrana, Pepe is perhaps not the player required at this moment in time.

MAXI GOMEZ (CELTA VIGO)

Suarez's countryman was heavily linked with a move to West Ham in the January market, only for the deal to fall through and Marko Arnautovic earning a new deal at the club instead.

Gomez has made quite a name for himself over the last one-and-a-half seasons in La Liga, scoring 26 goals in 56 appearances for Celta Vigo.

He's built very similar to Suarez and is arguably an even bigger threat in the air, something which could add a new dimension to Barca's attack.

Gomez vs Valencia

However, his all-round game is certainly not up there with the other options on this list. His passing is sub-standard, while his ability to carry the ball and beat defenders is not a strong point.

Gomez is a seriously talented striker and would thrive in a lot of top teams in Europe, but a team like Barca would simply demand more from the Uruguayan.

KASPER DOLBERG (AJAX)

Barca and Ajax share very similar footballing philosophies, making Dolberg a very viable option to follow his current teammate Frenkie de Jong to the Camp Nou.

Back in 2016/17, Dolberg really was hot property, smashing in 16 goals in 29 Eredivisie games as a teenager.

He's gone off the boil a bit since then, but the 21-year-old is back with a bang in 2018/19 with eight in just 14 games.

Dolberg celebrates

Dolberg's a predatory finisher, but like Werner, there is perhaps not enough to his all-round game for Barca, with just seven assists to his name during his time in Holland's top-flight.

The Blaugrana - despite having Messi in their ranks - need a striker who can do it all, not just find the back of the net.

VERDICT - JOVIC

If we were in charge of Barca - which sadly we're not - Frankfurt's Serbian goal-machine would be our number one pick.

While he barely has a full season under his belt, the all-round play and potential he's shown in Germany this year is quite frightening and it seems only serious injury can stop him getting to the very top.

Who do you think should be Suarez's replacement out of the five names on this list? Have your say in the comment box below.

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