Overlooking their policy of bringing up young talent, Liverpool are reportedly looking to sell their Spanish young maestro in order to go for more experience in their side. While Suso has performed well in La Liga last season, with a relegation threatened Almeria side, it was expected that he would get a nod from the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who is known to extract the maximum out of his young talent on Merseyside. However if reports surfacing in certain media outlets are true, Liverpool failed to offload Suso in an attempt to land another Spanish player, Alberto Moreno from Sevilla. And now after being put on the transfer list by Liverpool, Porto are amongst a number of clubs pursuing his signature. Here we can look at different aspects of his game.
Young and Energetic
At 20 years of age and playing in a tough and competitive league in La Liga, Suso made good of his chance to celebrate his playing time. Almeria survived relegation thanks to a brilliant performance from Suso. This season he assisted 7 goals for his side, which is up there with the names like Iniesta, Isco and Luka Modric, so it would be cruel to under-estimate his worth.
Suso was involved in 23% of the goals that Almeria have scored last season and scored or created important goals against the likes of Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol that proved to be the difference come end of May.
Suso started the season very well with Almeria and after creating 7 goals for the Spanish side in the first 13 matches of the season, his form took a dip, as he managed just 3 the whole season after. One of the disadvantage for keeping him in the Liverpool shirt is his conversion record, he managed 64 shots last season and only 3 of them were goals. His conversion percentage was therefore just 7.1%, which is dismal.
Immature at times
One more thing that the Liverpool boss may have an eye on before putting his name on the transfer list is his defensive failures. His defensive work with the Almeria side wasn’t good, as he was responsible directly for 2 goals conceded last season. There were 150 more players in the Spanish league whom averaged more tackles than the Liverpool loanee.
One more problem Liverpool might have to deal with if they reverse their decision of selling him is his pass succession percentage, after having delivered just 72.2% passes on target, he was the 17th best player for Almeria in this aspect. And if he wants to fight for a Liverpool shirt next season, this is the aspect he has to improve.
Comparison with Sterling and Coutinho
Keeping in mind that the Spaniard played on the right and left wing most often for the Almeria side, he should replace either Sterling or Coutinho to get a nod in Brendan Rodgers’ starting 11. While Suso had the season of his life with the Spanish side, his counterparts enjoyed much more success in a Liverpool shirt. Sterling scored 9 and assisted 5 goals for the Liverpool side while Coutinho enjoyed similar success as he scored 5 and assisted 7. Here is the comparison:-
While the above mentioned stats shows the comparison, it must be noted that the Spaniard’s discipline was under huge scrutiny last season. He needlessly gave fouls away and he nearly put Almeria’s position in La Liga in danger when he got a red card against Real Betis when Almeria were winning 1-0. He got 9 yellow cards and 1 red card this season, which may prove to be a huge thing to swallow for the Northern Irishman in helm at Merseyside, whose Liverpool team got the Premier League Fair Play award this season.
From a left winger to right, and from playing in a 4-4-2 formation, to playing in the central attacking role in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Suso was a versatile player for the Almeria side last season as he adapted easily to different formations. He played in 6 different positions which shows you the choice he gives to the manager in terms of playing. His most successful position was however the attacking wide left role in which he managed to score 1 and assist 4 goals last season.
Based on all the information above, it is a tough decision for Rodgers. Suso is clearly a talented player, who plenty of ability, but can the Liverpool manager trust him to help out defensively and press ferociously? If he decides he can get the best out Suso – in both aspects – and also fit him into the squad, then he’s worth keeping, otherwise, he should be sold with a buy back clause if posssible, just in case he fulfils his talent.
NOTE: Stats from whoscored.com and squawka.com