Luis Suarez' current club status has been brought into question.
Arsenal have recently launched a £40,000,001 bid. Chelsea may be interested. Bayern Munich have dropped the striker's name and the ever present Real Madrid can be expected to pick up any slack with an offer. What makes this in-form striker, with all his disciplinary issues, desirable?
He lacks class, sees the beautiful game as a game itself, and has been banned from more games since joining Liverpool than he has assists (17 to 18 for those wondering).
Despite the negatives, his explosiveness guides him: A quick flick of the wrist to knock a ball into his path before anyone catches a glimpse of what happened; a celebratory flop after goal to brush aside diving accusations; and an overall desire to hold his role as a striker that wants to score.
Given the game Suarez brings, which team would he be best suited to?
A quick run-down of Suarez's Premier League stats in the 2012/13 season via whoscored.com before we move on:
Shots per game: 5.7
The main club brought into the equation of Suarez's future is Arsenal. The team is lacking pure fire power with Robin van Persie dipping out for a trophy last year. Although Oliver Giroud is coming into form for both club and country, there are missing skills in his armoury.
Suarez certainly is capable of finding the holes and producing another 23 goals in league play. There has been little change to last year's formation, and even less activity during the transfer window. Spending the extra to land him could be what Arsene Wenger needs at the Emirates. Let's dig a little deeper.
Arsenal work well with Santi Cazorla feeding the outside balls to Lukas Podolski, who crosses into the box. The Spaniard also has a strong foot to shoot from 20 plus yards. Mikel Arteta is superb (on most days) at holding the ball in the opposition's half while Theo Walcott plays well on the breaks. What the team is missing is the player to catch a final lead pass. This is where Suarez comes in.
How it would work (4-3-3)
Rather than play the counter with Walcott, long range strikes from Cazorla, or crosses from Podolski, Arsenal can play with a tiki-taka style, with quick passing in arc-like fashion until a hole opens for Suarez. Surely the Argentinian can be expected to net with his speed on the field. It is his desire to open play that will give Arsenal wins week-in and week-out.
The cautionary tale of "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung at Anfield may haunt Suarez though, as his rashness could push him away from new teammates and fans. It will take a hat-trick before fans give him a resounding applause.
Bringing Suarez to Stamford Bridge is such a horrific idea, I am scared to write it. The demons the player carries with him on the pitch are enough that in-club disputes would erupt. However, Fernando Torres' lack of form and the young Romelu Lukaku hint that something is missing from the striking role at Chelsea. Should Jose Mourinho unleash the Russian money on Liverpool, expect one of the most entertaining seasons.
Chelsea were able to pull off a third place finish relying heavily on Juan Mata and his newly found midfield compatriots. Torres' 22 goals in 64 appearances was helpful, but eight in league play is weak from a man that should be at the peak of his career. This has more to do with his uninspired movement. The suprise of the season was David Luiz's character as a leader showing in midfield. He was very capable of picking the long ball pass and seeing plays through.
How it would work (4-1-3-2)
Should Liverpool's handball fanatic come to the Bridge, expect him to run through defences. Both Branislav Ivanovic and Luiz have an eye from defence to lob balls into open play (Ivanovic has given the go ahead should Mourinho need a striker).
Beyond this, the dribbling and passing skills of Mata and Eden Hazard will certainly cause distractions near the 18-yard box. Mata's 12 assists in league play and Hazard's 11 proved to be a handful. Having Suarez to feed would make it scary for the opposition. His 5.7 shots per game crush Torres' 1.9. If Roman Abramovich were to open the pockets, expect controlled explosiveness from all angles of the pitch.
An article posted at caughtoffside.com on July 15th detailed Bayern Munich's interest in Suarez. It proved that a transfer of over £25m may be given the go-ahead, but nothing has changed since.
While they are known for their attacking play, the team does have some ball hogs. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also not the sole midfielder. He and Tony Kroos worked in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Bayern currently produce the most dominant attack in the game. There is no exception. Two Champions League finals in a row and a victory in one of them shows their ability.
How it would work (4-1-4-1)
While Mario Gomez did put them in the back of the net (including 26 goals in 33 league appearances in the 2012-13 season), he is not the burst attacker that Bayern are adapting towards. Suarez would continue the bountiful attack seen last season. All flanks are full-frontal, and Suarez would grab balls on and off the shoulders of defenders, as well as crosses from Lahm.
While Suarez may increase the Germans' attacking force, do not forget that everything has a breaking point. With such skill involved, might I predict a collapse of the unity that has been brought on by trophy reflections? For this reason I say leave him out of the equation.
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