Liverpool need to play two strikers to keep Suarez in January
Having produced his most ineffective performance of the season so far in the 3-1 defeat at Hull, Luis Suarez’ odds of leaving Liverpool in the January transfer window sit at just 2/1, which is a price that is only likely to shorten if Brendan Rodgers doesn’t return to two strikers in upcoming fixtures.
Although a prolific finisher with nine goals in just eight league starts, Suarez is at his most dangerous buzzing around the edge of the box and he does have a tendency to follow the ball in an attempt to have a greater influence on play.
However, when playing as a lone striker, runners need to get beyond Suarez to attack the space that he has vacated.
Liverpool may have scored three goals against Everton, but this was due to the quality of their set-piece delivery, rather than the creativity of their general build-up play.
Creativity was again an issue against Hull, the second game that Suarez’ regular strike partner Daniel Sturridge missed and the second that Rodgers opted to change formation to a 4-3-3.
With Suarez often in deep positions, Liverpool failed to get any significant possession inside the Hull penalty box and even when the Uruguayan attempted to forage his own way through, he was simply overcrowded.
Given that Sturridge is expected to be out for at least another six weeks, this is an area that needs to be addressed quickly, with Iago Aspas the only real option to play alongside Suarez.
Not only would this provide Suarez with a forward pass to work one-twos off, it would give the opposing defence another player to warrant their attention.
If not, Liverpool and Suarez are likely to have further difficulty in a December that includes pivotal away games with Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Suarez is 1/3 not to leave Liverpool in the January window.
Should Liverpool lose more ground on Premier League leaders Arsenal and drop out of the top four, this may make Suarez’s decision easier to leave and the clause in his contract has been previously mentioned that if a team offers more than £40m for his services, he has to be informed.
Spanish newspaper Marca reported recently that Suarez was on the brink of signing for Real Madrid in the summer, with a transfer fee, salary and the length of a contract all in place.
Even taking into account Gareth Bale’s eye for goal, Carlo Ancelotti is still said to want another world-class striker and Suarez must feature prominently on their January wishlist.
Arsenal were another team to show a summer interest in Suarez and Arsene Wenger must know that Nicklas Bendtner is not good enough as a second striking option if the club are to remain serious title challengers.
With Suarez also represented by Pere Guardiola, the brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep, a switch to the Allianz Arena is another possibility, although the expected capture of Robert Lewandowski at the end of the campaign does pour some water on this eventuality.
Suarez’ odds are 16/1 to sign for Bayern in January.