Luis Suarez - Improvement in numbers | 11/12 - 12/13 comparison

Luis Suarez - Improvement in numbers | 11/12 - 12/13 comparison

Attracting huge attention from the media, Luis Suarez isn’t just an ordinary English Premier League player. Whether it’s a racial row with Patrice Evra, a handball against Mansfield, that brought brave non-league team’s FA Cup dream to an end, or the diving admission made recently by the Uruguayan himself, his name is sure to hit the headlines and spark controversy.

Liverpool supporters simply love him, whilst the rest of English football have quite the opposite feeling towards Suarez, one thing is for sure though: the impact he made to the Reds season so far is nothing short of huge. Scoring 16 league goals this term, Luis has already exceeded his last season’s tally of 11. That places him second in top scorers table, just 2 hits behind the Dutch ace Robin Van Persie. The Anfield favourite has surely improved, but how did his game change exactly? A brief comparison of last and current season’s stats may provide an answer to that question.

Luis Suarez 2012 stats on the left – 2013 on right.

Suarez passing accuracy didn’t change much since last season, there is slight improvement though. He completed 77% of his passes this term compared to previous campaign’s 75% in open play. His defensive, attacking and final third passing didn’t really change too, though some difference occurred in the direction of passes and a number of chances he creates. Luis passing was more vertical last season as he played 31% of his passes forwards and 26% backwards, while the percentage of passes played to the left or right has been 14% and 28% respectively. Now his distribution is a bit more horizontal, as percentage of the balls he plays down the flanks increased by 11%. The cause of this change in the former Ajax player’s passing direction is arguably the footballing philosophy of Brendan Rodgers, who wants his Liverpool team to play much less direct and concentrate on retaining the ball.



What makes Suarez much deadlier is the fact he has not only started to score lots of goals, but also has become much more creative at the same time. He has created 64 chances this term, the same number he produced during the whole last season. That makes him second in top chance creators chart, right behind Leighton Baines of Everton, who has created 76 chances so far, and above, the revived, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with 62.

Suarez’s achievement is even more special when you look at the percentage of chances created via open play. He’s the only one of top 5 Premier League creators to set his teammates up almost exclusively this way, with just 5% of chances he creates coming from set play (which obviously means the other 95% are via open play). The other open play creator in top 5 chart, David Silva is much more reliant on set play with 27%  of chances he produced coming from free kicks or corners. Suarez, in fact, has created the most open-play chances in the Premier League this season whilst all those around in the top five rely on set piece creation too – proving Suarez to be the deadliest player from open-play.

Luis Suarez 2012 stats on the left – 2013 on right.


Given all those facts it’s evident that Suarez’s minutes per chance created ratio lowered quite a lot compared to the previous campaign. Luis needed 40 minutes to create a chance in 2011-12, this term he needs 31 minutes to do it.

The Uruguayan is one of league’s best clear-cut chance creators too. He has created 10 clear-cut chances so far, the same number as Robin van Persie, David Silva and Adel Taarabt.

The only players to set their teammates up more times are Juan Mata with 11, and Leighton Baines with 12 clear-cut chances created. Again, Suarez is the only one of those top creators to get every single one of his assists via open play. The progress he has made compared to 2011-12 campaign is obvious. Last season it took Luis 319.6 minutes to create a clear-cut chance for his teammates. This number is much lower now with Suarez creating a clear-cut chance every 197.7 minutes.


Luis Suarez 2012 stats on the left – 2013 on right.

While his passing didn’t change that much, the creativity stats show a massive improvement that the Liverpool hotshot has made. And it’s the same in terms of shooting. Luis seems much sharper in every single aspect of his attacking game. He shoots more often and has raised his accuracy, it also takes him less time to shoot on target. His chance conversion and clear-cut chance conversion have both increased.

Suarez converted 25% of his clear-cut chances last term, now 52% of them end up with Uruguayan kissing his wrist in joy – this was a major gripe last term with the Liverpool supporters blogging community complaining on Suarez’s poor finishing – he’s much better this term!

In the 2011-2012 season he scored a goal every 232 minutes he spent on the pitch, now he needs only 124 minutes to do that.

Luis Suarez has surely become one of Premier League’s top strikers in the current campaign. In such a great form, he’s a key player to Liverpool’s season and if anyone can make the Reds reach the top 4 finish they’ve been dreaming of, for quite a few seasons now, Suarez is the man they need. As long as he stays fit and avoids any serious trouble, there is hope yet for the Anfield faithful.

Featured image courtesy of: Zizouology

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.