Luis Suárez has been dragging discomfort in his right knee for a long time, since during the first pre-season training session he noticed that something was not right in the joint, an intense pain that did not prevent him from playing. It was not serious, even though the situation would advise more rest than the player wanted to do, determined to help the team with their goals. But neither the knee has improved with the passage of time – "during the next few days, the player will follow a specific work model of bodybuilding and prevention to solve the discomfort he has," said the medical statement of Barcelona on Monday – nor the forward has been related as usual with the goal, right to mix with Messi football but unfortunate with what the team claims.
The absence of another center forward, in addition to a Munir that barely counts for Valverde because they looked for equipment in summer from the sports area, has caused Suarez to be essential in the coach's system, which meets the desire of 10 to play extreme. A deficiency that stands out from Germany Paco Alcácer, yielded to Dortmund and with the sharp trigger because it counts seven goals in 171 minutes (it leaves to one every 24 minutes). "Doubting Luis is wrong," they respond with force from the Barça dressing room; "He's the best in the world in his own way and it's only a matter of time before he gives us points again." But for now the party is resisted because he has celebrated three goals so far in the league and the last was six games ago, so he has five matches without seeing the goal (against PSV, Girona, Leganés, Athletic, Tottenham and Valencia) for a total of 568 dry minutes. A statistic that worsens its historical numbers in the Barca because in its first season (2014-15) it marked 25 goals and it went out to a goal every 141 minutes. It exploded a year later with 59 networks (one every 81 minutes) and stabilized in the following two courses with 37 (each 116) and 31 targets (each 143). Now, however, his figures are rickety with one every 309 minutes.
Always delivered in the physical because he does not understand football without effort, the problem is not that he has fewer chances because his records in shots are very similar to each exercise, but he has seen his marksmanship resentfully. He started in the first year with three shots per game (with 46% between the three clubs) and followed with 3.7 the next (51%), 3.1 (47%) in 2016-17 and 3.6 ( 45%) in the past. Now, it remains at 3.2 per game and 38%. "Almost every season has had some downturn because it is a striker and, as such, all go by gusts", point from the sports city; "But in the end he always completes the seasons with some excellent numbers". Thus, while he does not mean himself as a gunslinger – his way of celebrating the goals – he does so as La Pulga's best partner.
From the beginning, Suárez and Messi got together wonderfully, united by the asados, the school of children and families, who even have business in common. A relationship that has spread on the table and that, after the last attendance on Sunday at Mestalla, points to Suarez as Leo's best passer, since he has 43 goal assists. Alves behind him and Alves (42 in total and 26 in LaLiga by 27 Uruguayan), Iniesta (36), Xavi (31), Pedro (25), Neymar (22) and Alba (17). Even assists do not add to the box with feints, without touching the ball, as the two made against Tottenham in Wembley that once again raised Messi on the planet football. "Suarez knows where Leo is at all times because they know by heart how they play," they say from the offices of the Camp Nou, while not revealing the specificity of the forward's injury because "that's medical issues." That's why he does not go with the Uruguayan national team during the selection process, determined to get ready for the resumption of the league because everyone wants him on the field, since it is the fourth most minutes (929), just for behind Messi (935), in addition to Ter Stegen (990) and Piqué (990), who have contested everything. Basic for the first phase of pressure, in addition to fixing the central players in the area, Suarez plays against the clock, needing goals and joys.