If anyone thought Luis Suarez will end up winning the PFA player of the year, he was in for a disappointment. The Uruguayan striker, keeping Liverpool in a respectable position (it would have been much worse without him), isn’t made for honors, when the first thoughts about him are usually those referring to his diving, cheating and sometimes violent conduct.
But the PFA voting was completed months before Suarez took a bite into the arm of Branislav Ivanovic. That’s why someone like Gareth Bale, never the face of consistency and quite a whiner and diver himself, gets to win the award, and not for the first time, thanks to an impressive couple of months, and that’s it. Both Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez have been better than him, not to mention having better numbers.
But at least Suarez wasn’t forgotten when it came to the team of the season. It’s not easy to love Suarez if you’re not a Liverpool fan, and I’m pretty sure defenders around the league hate him for two reasons – his non-stop diving and trying to get away with it (which has begun to work well for him as the season progressed, although who knows how low his reputation has sunk to after the biting incident), and being incredibly hard to stop.
Because 23 goals in 33 matches for a club that doesn’t possess the highest quality of midfield units in England is something to be proud of, and shows the he may well be the best scorer in the land. There aren’t that many “world-class” strikers roaming global football these days. Suarez is one of the few, and possibly the most special of them for his unique dribbling skills and creative thinking, if you exclude Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the list, who should be in a league of his own.
It’s going to be a weird summer for Suarez and for Liverpool. The transfer rumors will be flying, and there will be the voices calling for him to leave a place he isn’t appreciated in. But Suarez has proved he can be quite a force in the Premier League and anywhere when he just focuses on football. If Liverpool can convince him to stay, despite his standing and the lack of European football next season, they’ll have quite a starting point to attract quality players and hope for a better start than they had this season.
Without him, the building and climbing process towards previous heights is going to be more difficult, possibly close to hopeless once again, than anyone ever imagined.