How Liverpool would have fared without Luis Suarez last season

Following Luis Suarez's comments regarding his impact at Liverpool last season, we look at how they would have fared without the Uruguayan.

Talismanic striker Luis Suarez was a phenomenon for Liverpool last season despite missing the club's first five Premier League games due to an outstanding biting ban. His form and partnership with Daniel Sturridge was feared throughout the league. The pair became the focal point of the Liverpool attack and were influential in their push for Premier League glory.

Liverpool eventually missed out on the title but did go the closest they have ever been to lifting the most revered crown in English football. They finished second, runners-up to Manchester City, which was still a brilliant achievement for the club, one which no one would have predicted at the beginning of the season.

It obviously means Champions League football has returned to the Anfield faithful, something that has been missing since 2010. Unfortunately as we all know Suarez is no longer there to revel in their revival as he opted to sign for Barcelona for a huge fee of £75 million following the World Cup.

Three months since he left Anfield, Suarez is still waiting to make his senior Barcelona debut, but has found time to comment on the impact he had at Liverpool last season. Many media outlets quoted the striker recently as saying that if it not had been for his goals, then the Reds would not have done as well as they did.

It's a very fair and obvious statement from the 27-year-old: he scored 31 goals in the 33 league games he was involved in, which is a fantastic record in itself. Other than being obvious, Suarez's comments do make one wonder how Liverpool would have finished had they not had his goals?

  PlayedWonDrawnLostGoals forGoals againstGoal differencePoints
Liverpool 38 26 6 6 101 50 +51 84

The above graphic shows us how Liverpool came to finish second in the Premier League last season, with the impact of Suarez. The table below will show us how differently if would have been without the Uruguayan.

  PlayedWonDrawnLostGoals forGoals againstGoal differencePoints
Liverpool 38 19 11 8 70 50 +20 68

If we took away all of the 31 goals that Suarez scored for Liverpool last season, then they would have finished sixth, below City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, but still above Manchester United. They would have won seven fewer games, drawn five more and lost two more; Suarez was indirectly responsible for winning Liverpool 16 points last season. This table only takes into account Suarez's goals and doesn't reflect the 12 assists that he made, so it would certainly be a little worse had those been included too.

The contrast between the two tables is quite significant, it shows how much impact and influence he had on their season, and obviously that his comments regarding the difference he made were absolutely right. It's interesting to see because now that Liverpool are without Suarez and as of yet no one has stepped in, or been bought in to fill his void, this is what we could be seeing for seasons to come.

Suarez was the one Liverpool player who you could place in that bracket of truly world class. He could change games and win them by himself if needed. Right now Liverpool do not have a player in that same class and until they unearth another they will struggle to reach the heights of last season again.

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