The now infamous £50m man has suffered a loss of form unlike any player I’ve seen in the Premier League – it was like he just didn’t agree with the London air or something. It just hasn’t worked out for him since his move in January 2011.
Nonetheless, he was sensational in his first couple of seasons at Anfield – remember the song ‘Fernando’, remember the Spanish connection with Rafael Benitez and Xabi Alonso? It was really something special.
But, crucially, does that period between 2007 and 2010 compare with what Liverpool have on their hands now? Suarez has had a similar effect on the Reds in his three seasons to that initial three when Torres was king.
In his first season after arriving from Athletico Madrid in his native Spain, Torres scored 24 goals in 33 Premier League appearances (I’m not counting other competitions because it would make it a skewed comparison). He actually scored 33 goals in all competitions which is quite remarkable given he was adapting to a different country and league at the age of 23.
In Suarez’ first season, 2010/11, at the age of 23 also he managed a tally of just 4 goals in 13 appearances which, obviously, isn’t really a fair comparison but in the next term he still only scored 11 goals in 31 appearances compared to Torres’ second season tally of 14 in 24 appearances.
The third season at Anfield is where they both really hit their stride – Torres scored 18 goals in 22 appearances for Liverpool in the league (his best over three and a half seasons) but he doesn’t come anywhere near Suarez’ from last term of 23 goals in 33 appearances and 30 goals in all competitions.
So far this term Suarez has picked up where he left off before his suspension, scoring 8 goals in just 6 games – he really is a world beater at the moment and, unfortunately for Chelsea fans, the same cannot be said of Torres.
Overall, Torres scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for Liverpool and, to date Suarez has scored 59 in 103 which, if he keeps going at his current level, he’ll be more than capable of smashing Torres’ peak productivity in front of goal as well as undoubtedly adding more to the creative play and overall team performance than his Spanish counterpart who was far more a centre-forward than a second-striker type that Suarez is.]
image: © Nigel Wilson