STATS: Liverpool missing more than just goals from Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is showing at Barcelona that he offers more than just goals, with Liverpool struggling to cover his departure in other key areas.

When Liverpool reluctantly agreed to sanction the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona over the summer, they knew they were parting with a special talent.

The Uruguayan may be something of a handful, on and off the field, but there is no questioning his ability.

He almost single-handedly carried the Reds to Premier League title glory in 2014/15, with a remarkable return of 31 goals not quite enough to see them pip Manchester City to the top-flight crown.

Suarez is, however, about much more than finding the back of the net.

His work rate and creative spark is almost impossible to replace, as Brendan Rodgers is finding out to his cost.

It would be wrong to suggest that Liverpool were a one-man team last season, but the departure of Suarez has clearly hit them hard.

He has shown during his short time in Spain, having completed his latest ban for biting, that he is as comfortable conjuring up opportunities for others as he is taking them himself.

In just nine appearances for Barca, spread across La Liga and Champions League competition, Suarez has delivered two goals and six assists.

No Liverpool player can match those numbers in terms of bringing teammates into play, with only Raheem Sterling able to offer an argument for being as important to the collective cause.

  Goal AssistTotal Att AssistGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Raheem Sterling 5 41 3 21 1,735
Jordan Henderson 3 30 3 19 1,612
Steven Gerrard 1 34 5 21 1,679
Adam Lallana 1 13 2 13 844
Mario Balotelli 0 11 1 12 910
Emre Can 0 4 1 8 369
Philippe Coutinho 0 16 1 17 1,026
Rickie Lambert 0 6 2 16 679
Lazar Markovic 0 5 0 9 391
Daniel Sturridge 0 3 1 3 270

Rodgers needs to find a way of bringing more out of his attacking unit, or dip back into the transfer market in January in search of reinforcements.

He will never find a like-for-like replacement for a man offloaded for £75 million because one does not exist, but there are players out there capable of getting close to his levels.

Whether Liverpool can find them and secure them, or whether they are already on their books, remains to be seen, but for now it is clear that a Suarez-sized hole remains in the ranks at Anfield.

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