January 31st was a huge day for football and Liverpool fans alike. Not one but two world class forwards arrived at Melwood for incredible sums of money. Both Luis Suarez (£22.8 million) and Andy Carroll (£35 million) arrived on the last day of the notoriously action packed transfer window to replace the 50 million pound gap that former Kop hero Fernando Torres had left in the city of Liverpool. However, is this duo of strength and speed a formula for kop heroes or another pair of centre forwards who seem to have failed to live up to the Kop greats such as Rush, Torres and Dalglish?
Suarez scored 81 goals in 108 league games for his former club Ajax which is a better record than his predecessor Torres who had a superb record of 81 goals in 142 matches for the reds. An impressive record no doubt but the English Premier League is known as the ‘best league in the world’ and although all professional football is of a certain standard, the leap from Holland to England will be a large difference for Suarez even if he was recognised as the best player in Holland. Another aspect of many a Kop hero is their attitude.
Fearless, charismatic and terrifying are words which are seen as equals to former reds such as Owen and Barnes, Suarez’s nickname ‘the cannibal’ (for biting a fellow footballers ear during a match in 2010 seeing him band for 8 games in the Dutch division) should help see whether he is worth his weight in gold in the eyes of supporters or if he is another player whose reputation runs further than his abilities. However, a debut goal against Stoke during midweek and an impressive performance all round by the Uruguayan gives him a good start to his Anfield career.
Suarez’s future partner in crime (Andy Carroll) is also about to undergo the strenuous test of becoming a Liverpool legend but with Suarez beside him, I feel as if Liverpool will be terrorizing the league for years to come. Suarez’ commitment is definitely one aspect that Liverpool fans should not be worried about. His nickname alone should help justify his desire to win. Furthermore, Suarez became public enemy number one in the African country
of Ghana after he handled the ball on the line in the final minute of extra time in the quarter finals of the World Cup which led to Ghana missing the penalty and eventually Uruguay prevailing victorious after they won on penalties leaving Suarez a national hero at home for his own version of the ‘hand of God’.
Although Suarez didn’t feature in his side’s emphatic 1-0 win over Chelsea, it does show that Liverpool are seeming to move out their slump and back into their glorious days of old. Four wins on the trot and unbeaten in five shows than Suarez’s move is coming at the right time for a team on the comeback from one and half forgettable years which saw reds supporters see their team fall from an impressive 2nd in the 2008/2009 season to failing to qualify for the champions league for the first time since the pre Rafael Benitez era.
Suarez may have the raw ability to become an instant Anfield great with his natural goal scoring ability but as with many heroes, there are always the sidekicks who never get the full credit they deserve. Steven Gerrard is the obvious playmaker to Suarez, as with Torres, Owen, Fowler and many others there is no doubt that Gerrard will play a part in a few of Suarez’s chances in a red shirt but other than the talismanic captain the chances are seemingly surprisingly good.
Summer signing Raul Meireles seems to have recently completed his adaption to the Premier League with some recent match winning performances with goals against both Stoke and Wolves. The better news is that the talent does not stop there; the underrated workhorse of Dirk Kuyt is always a force to be reckoned with by chipping in with goals and assists including setting up Suarez’s debut goal last Wednesday. As well as those already mentioned, Joe Cole, Lucas Levia and Maxi Rodriguez show the future is looking bright for the red half of Merseyside.
Whatever the future is for Liverpool’s new number 7, the assets and abilities are definitely there. Whether Suarez will have his face as the cover boy of Anfield or whether he will be on the next plane out of the John Lennon airport, will only tell over time but the possibilities look good especially with the likes of Gerrard, Meireles, Lucas and Kuyt assisting you.