Luis Suarez: The Premier League's Most Important Player? | Rival Stats

Luis Suarez: The Premier League's Most Important Player? | Rival Stats

In the world today there are always people we love to hate, especially in football. From Robbie Savage for his sneaky antics, to Gary Neville for his unbearable will to win and Didier Drogba for his schoolboy charades that seem to have permeated every inch of football culture.

Luis Suarez is another one of these players, hated for a mixture of all these reasons and more, yet unlike the former, barring Robbie Savage, his influence is seemingly not realised, or rather diluted by the constant criticisms which follow him. Pundits and fans alike will be quick to point out his deficiencies. He is a poor finisher, frustratingly inconsistent and a diver to boot they say. He may be a quality player, but nonetheless he is not a player in the elite bracket of the Premiership. The likes of Rooney, Tevez and van Persie are more clinical strikers, proven 20 goals a season marksmen, whilst the likes of the Spanish maestros Mata, Silva and new boy Santi Carzola are more productive play-makers, charismatic charmers of the ball, manipulating it to do their will.

[quote]…whereas van Persie, Ba, Tevez, Mata, etc can rely on others to create and score goals, Suarez does both for himself in a team void of goals and creativity.[/quote]

Suarez, it seems, is a player stuck in football purgatory, half a play-maker half a goal-scorer, very good at both, yet unspectacular at either trade. Already he has been cast aside quite readily due to his mediocre statistics from his first full season in the Premier League, last season Suarez scored 11 goals to Rooney’s 27 and created 64 chances, 2 of which were assists, to David Silva’s 104, of which 15 were assists, in addition to his disgraceful controversies which shadowed him.

However, although many will be quick to write him off already after only one and a half seasons in England, Suarez should not be judged too quickly. He is a clever and relentless false number nine with the ability to create goals as well as score them, as he is now beginning to show. Already half way past his league goal and assist total for the previous year, the Uruguayan is fast making his name as the most valued player in the Premier League, with an in-depth review of this seasons statistics further showing this.

Luis Suarez a Goal-Scorer?

Although typecast as a bottler in front of goal, Suarez is doing his best to change that opinion this season. Scoring more freely than ever, he has already netted 7 times in 10 games, only Robin van Persie has accumulated more goals, standing as the joint second top goal-scorer level with Demba Ba.

In addition, Suarez’s clear cut chance conversion rate for the season is 38 per cent, 13 per cent better than his overall conversion for the 2011/12 season. Compared to the other two in form strikers in the league today, Ba and van Persie, Suarez’s conversion rate for clear cut chances is only 2 and 5 per cent worse off respectively, pretty good for a striker who has been labelled as someone who cannot shoot or score.However, every cliché does have some truth to it and Suarez’s shot conversion rate does leave something to be desired, standing at 14 per cent and his overall shooting accuracy totalling only 31 per cent; in 10 games he has amassed a total of 51 shots with only 16 of these shots on target. In addition, his overall chance conversion rate stands at 12 per cent.

[quote]In many respects Suarez’s creative ability is what is setting him apart as one of the best players in the Premiership.[/quote]

Nonetheless some mediocre statistics, but when compared to other strikers Suarez’s figures can be put into perspective. Tevez, for example, only has a chance conversion rate of 16 per cent, whilst Rooney’s stands at 11 per cent and Jermaine Defoe, widely regarded as one the most ruthless finishers in the game, is currently only 15 per cent. Although this does not in any way validate Suarez’s poor conversion rates or shooting accuracies, it does show that many top strikers in the league are statistically, from a negative standpoint, in Suarez’s bracket but are yet not tarred with the brush even though they are failing to do what Suarez is doing this very season, taking his chances and scoring goals.

TSH – Total Shots | GLS – Goals | MPG – Mins Per Goal | MPS – Mins Per Shot | MPT – Mins per Shot on Target | SA – Shooting Accuracy | CC – Chance Conversion | TCC – Total Clear-Cut Chances | CCC – Clear-Cut Chances Converted

Next Page: Suarez the Creator, Liverpool FC comparison and conclusion!

Read on to see how he compares to the Premier League’s top creators and what Suarez’s team-mates are doing in comparison!

Luis Suarez the Creator

In many respects Suarez’s creative ability is what is setting him apart as one of the best players in the Premiership. In regards to other strikers he is not only matching or scoring more in terms of goals, but he is also creating more. Again when compared to the other top forwards this season, Suarez is far and away the most creative. Creating a total of 30 chances in ten games, with two assists, Suarez on average creates a chance every 34 minutes with only the likes of the top midfield play-makers able to boast better statistics in this respect. For example, van Persie has only created 15 chances to Suarez’s 24 with 3 assists in total, yet only creates 2.0 chances per game to Suarez’s 2.4. In comparison, Ba does not equate in the creativity ranks. He has only created 6 chances in total this season and no assists with 0.75 chances created per game.

Compared then to Rooney and Tevez, strikers in the same vein, Suarez is again on top. Tevez and Rooney have only created 8 and 14 chances respectively, totalling at 2 and 1.8 chances created per game, and although they have created more assists, 5 and 3 respectively, in open play all 3 players have created 2 assists, Tevez and Rooney profiting from delivering free-kicks from wide or dangerous areas which Suarez does not take, but Gerrard does.

TCC – Total Chances Created | OP – Play Play | SP – Set Play | MCC – Mins per Chance Created | MOC – Mins per Open Play Chance Created | MSC – Mins per Set Play Chance Created | TGA – Total Goal Assists | OA – Open Play Assist | SA – Set Play Assist | CCC – Clear-Cut Chances Created

To further show his importance through creativity, Suarez must be compared to the midfielders for which creating chances is their game. Mata and Silva, for example, have created fewer chances this season, whilst Suarez has created more assists than Silva and is equal on assists with Santi Carzola. Although it must be shown that the latter 3 midfielders chances created per game and chances created per minute are considerably higher than Suarez’s, Mata, Silva and Carzola have created 2.75, 4.2 and 3.6 chances per game this season, for Suarez to be creating more chances and assists whilst scoring more goals (Suarez is joint second and third in the overall goal-scoring and creativity table for this season) is a considerable achievement.

Liverpool FC

Finally, Suarez’s influence can be seen when taking a thorough look at Liverpool FC. When compared to team-mates it shows just how significant Suarez actually is. Only Gerrard can boast stats which are in comparison to Suarez yet cannot offer the same prowess when it comes to goals scored with only one goal this season.

Liverpool’s most important players after Suarez and Gerrard have very little to contribute; Sterling has created 18 chances with no assists and 1 goal, Allen 7 chances and Nuri Sahin 4 chances, 1 assist and 1 goal. Of course Liverpool’s inability to score is widely noted and so Suarez not only has to score goals, but create the chances for when his team-mates actually do pitch in.

Summary

As the stats show there is a very convincing argument for Luis Suarez being regarded as the most influential player in Premier League today. He creates goal at a rate similar to those such as Mata, Silva and Carzola and also scores goals at a rate similar to, or better than those who are considered the best in the league, van Persie, Rooney, Tevez and Aguero.

In addition, whereas van Persie, Ba, Tevez, Mata, etc can rely on others to create and score goals, Suarez does both for himself in a team void of goals and creativity. To pigeon-hole him as a lesser player due to some perceived valuation from last year, or even for circumstances which have occurred over the past season and a half he has been a Liverpool player is something which must be avoided.

As the statistics show, for now he is the most complete and influential player in the Barclay’s Premier League and if he can continue this form he will be surely not too far away from that mantle come the end of the season.

All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.