Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez has often been criticised for the number of chances he has missed in front of goal since joining Liverpool in a £23m move last January, but the Reds’ No.7 recorded his second goal in four Premier League games as Brendan Rodgers’ side clinched a deserved point at the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening.
The Uruguayan’s statistics, even at this early stage, make for confusing reading. On the one hand, despite playing a couple of the top four teams from last season already this term, Suarez is averaging a goal every two games. Should he continue to perform at a similar level for the remainder of the campaign, the former Ajax star could find himself very close to hitting the 20-goal mark, which would be a significant improvement on the 11 successful league strikers he managed last season.
But once again, question marks arise over Suarez’s accuracy. Liverpool’s star man has taken 14 shots off target in just four games. In comparison, he was off target on 60 occasions in 31 games last season. At the current rate, Reds’ fans should expect to see Suarez waste many more opportunities over the coming months. A shooting accuracy of just 26.3% this term compared to 44.4% in the last campaign tells its own story.
Like Suarez, Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski has also found the net twice this season, but the German’s goals have come from a total of just five shots – three of which were on target. Podolski’s shooting accuracy stands at 60%, while his conversion rate is 40% compared to Suarez’s worrying 10.5%. Even the much-maligned Chelsea forward Fernando Torres, who Suarez replaced at Anfield, is shooting and converting twice as accurately as the Uruguayan, even though they both currently have the same number of Premier League goals this season.
Scoring a goal every two games is more than respectable and Suarez is currently achieving that feat. However, the key concern about the striker is the number of chances he needs in order to score those goals. If Rodgers’ star forward can improve his conversion rate by 50%, then he would score a lot more goals and help Liverpool to win many games and points. That may not seem possible to those who regularly watch and are frustrated by the temperamental forward, but for a man who once scored 49 goals in a single season while at Ajax, anything is possible.
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