Reds would be bottom without Suarez

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By Stewart Robson

Manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Liverpool they cannot afford to lose Luis Suarez like they did Fernando Torres — and well he might because without the Uruguayan, his club would be struggling even more than they are now. In fact, if you take out Suarez’s goals and assists, Liverpool would be bottom of the league, with no wins and just two points.

Here, former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson analyses why Suarez is so important.

Master of the unexpected

Defences are set up to play against the kind of passing football Rodgers favours and his side do not play quickly enough to unbalance them. Suarez is the one player who can provide the unexpected because he can go past defenders in tight areas with changes of direction, play the ball between players’ legs or manipulate it on unusual angles.

Slow, slow, quick, quick, quick

Suarez is not hugely quick but he has the ability to change the tempo of a move. His speed of movement and thought to get away from markers is so impressive, and only appreciated by watching him live.

What a combination

He can combine with others to good effect, either by playing wall passes, one-touch through-balls or dropping deeper to play in runners behind defences. Without his individual brilliance, Liverpool are easy to negate.

But he needs help

For Liverpool to become a good side again, Rodgers needs two more strikers to link with Suarez. He knows the system well from playing in a front three at Ajax, but the players either side of him need to be forwards who can drift wide. They musthave pace to exploit the space behind defences when he drops deeper. Borini doesn’t look good enough while Suso is more of a midfield player. – Mail On Sunday

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