Luis Suarez returns to action Monday when Liverpool FC meets Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. A nine-game ban kept Suarez out for a month, and he will be like a new signing when he takes the field again.
It was a little over a year ago that Suarez joined Liverpool from Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam. The Uruguayan star became a Red in a £22.8 million ($36.1 million) deadline-day deal, and scored on his debut. His presence simply raised the overall quality of the team, and his exploits helped Liverpool shoot up the Premier League standings in the last four months of the 2010-11 campaign.
Suarez played almost non-stop through 2011. His participation in last summer’s Copa America — where he led Urugay to the championship as the Player of the Tournament — robbed him of an offseason. He jetted back to Liverpool after the tournament, and was in the lineup for the season-opening draw against Sunderland.
He simply took the Premier League by storm in first year in English soccer, and now Liverpool’s opponents must be shuddering at the thought of his impending return. Before his suspension, Suarez seemed to be straining (physically) and it affected his sharpness. Now, a fit, rested and hungry Suarez will be playing with something extra to prove, and Liverpool FC will be the chief beneficiary.
The 25-year-old star scored four goals and added five assists in 13 games at the end of 2010-11. Will he outdo himself in Liverpool’s remaining 15 league and (at least) two cup games?