Liverpool: Why the Reds should keep Luis Suarez and play him on the left wing
By Thomas Atzenhoffer
Liverpool have a tough decision on their hands as to whether to keep Luis Suarez this summer or send him on his way. It is no secret that the Uruguayan has been a media nightmare at times for the Merseyside club.
However, he is nothing short of electrifying when he is at the top of his game. If the club are wanting to ensure they have a chance of breaching the top four this coming campaign they have to find a way to keep Suarez.
No one club is entitled to a place in the European elite. Liverpool have faltered the last few years from their glorious past of European competition and the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham have stolen their place in the big four what once was Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Manger Brendan Rodgers and the powers that be on Merseyside have to find a common ground with Suarez and get him on the same page as the rest of the club with fighting their way back to their place in Europe.
One key way to ensure that the club can get the most out of Suarez if they can fend off interest from Arsenal, Real Madrid and other would be suitors, is to change his primary position for the club from a central striking role to that of a left winger.
The Uruguayan could essentially be Liverpool’s version of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. His attitude in many ways has caused many critics to forget that he has natural abilities that resemble both of these players.
He has the ability to wriggle out of any situation with his ball skills and has accuracy both from distance and inside the 18 yard box. Additionally his vision and ability to pick out a pass is crucial to the type of pass and move offense that Rodgers is continuing to develop at Liverpool.
The Reds have had trouble with quality on the wings in the past few seasons and moving Suarez to the left side would keep Daniel Sturridge involved with the first team more often. His new positioning would also force defenses to spread more thinly at the back to cover the Uruguayan, thus creating more space in the central area of the attacking third.
That added space would increase the room to work for creative playmakers such as Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho. Suarez’s speed would also allow him to slice through defenses with his breaking speed off the wing, much in line with the style of both Ronaldo, and Messi, before the Argentine was used to cover the center of attack in past seasons due to injuries to other players.
During his time in Holland, Suarez was used extensively in the wide areas for Ajax Amsterdam and his goal production did not suffer, but his assist returns were higher. Albeit the Eredivisie is no comparison to the English Premier League when you look at the depth of competition, but Suarez could potentially be even more lethal for the Reds out wide.
Having scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, defenses will be preparing as to how to defend the Uruguayan as a central striker after his success last campaign. Moving him over will force Premier League defenses to once again relearn how to defend Suarez from a different position.
That move also keeps the clubs two top scorers in Suarez and Sturridge in the first team. Although Sturridge only made 16 appearances for the Reds since joining the club in January, he scored 11 goals and provided five assists. Most of that because he had a chance to shine while Suarez was suspended. It makes only good sense to shift the front line around to allow your best two forwards to be involved in the most number of matches.
Liverpool still have much to consider this summer before it is all said and done, but keeping Suarez and making him into an even more dangerous weapon for the club keeps their hopes of European qualification held high.