Luis Suarez: Another Bergkamp/van Nistelrooy Or Kezman/Babel?

By on January 24, 2011

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The Dutch first division, and Ajax in particular, have produced some of the players and teams that will live long in the memory of many football fans. The Oranje rank amongst the most respected footballing countries in the world, and have done since they revolutionised the game with ‘Total Football’. However, Dutch football has taken a turn for the worst over the last decade or so, demonstrated by the style of football their national team used to get them to the final of this summers World Cup. The ‘anti-football’ approach they adopted was far from the iconic teams of the eighties. Despite the glorious connotations that go with Dutch football, the Eridivisie is a long way off being a true force in Europe, and has been for some time.

With rumours being rife of Luis Suarez being lined up as the first signing of the NESV revolution at Liverpool, I have found the excitement of this prospect somewhat questionable. Having not seen the player in action excessively, it is difficult for me to have a concrete opinion on the matter. It is encouraging to see Liverpool once again seriously attempting to buy players who are seen to be the hottest properties in football right now, and there is rarely a bad word said about the Uruguayan. Along with his scoring record for Ajax, I know I should be excited about the possibility of Liverpool capturing Suarez’s signature. However, recent history has taught us to be sceptical of any Eridivisie hot-shot strikers making a direct switch to the Premier League. Here are a few who have made the switch, for better or for worse:

Dirk Kuyt

Feyenord 101 (70)

Liverpool 158 (40)

Kuyt was brought into Liverpool by Rafael Benitez as the answer to Liverpool’s goalscoring problems. Judging by his tremendous record with Feyenord, Benitez had spent his money wisely. However, Kuyt was found terribly wanting in front of goal, and was soon switched to the right wing where his stamina and determination were seen to be more effective. Overall, Kuyt has been a successful signing, though sadly not as a goalscorer.

Ryan Babel

Ajax 73 (14)

Liverpool 91 (12)

Babel was another brought to Liverpool by Benitez, however, it is difficult to come to a conclusion as it’s fair to say he never fulfilled his potential at Ajax, and was brought to Liverpool for the future. It was his lack of intelligence which has deemed Babel a failure in my opinion, as he does possess all the right ingredients to be a top Premiership player, unfortunately he can’t put them all together.

Van Nistelrooy

PSV 67 (62)

Man Utd 150 (95)

Ruud Van Nistelrooy is the only Dutch import that in my mind, that can be categorised as a truly successful goalscorer. Although his goals to games ratio in Holland was far better, he found his natural goalscoring instinct trasnlatable to the Premier League. Something many others have failed in doing.

Dennis Bergkamp

Ajax 185 (103)

Arsenal 316 (87)

It would be laughable to try and criticise as the signing of Dennis Bergkamp by Arsene Wenger, as he is one of the finest players to ever play in England. However, his scoring record exemplifies the gulf in class between the two leagues, and though Bergkamp made up for this in other ways, he never lived up to the record he set in Holland.

Mateja Kezman

PSV 122 (105)

Chelsea 25 (4)

Kezman is a great example of a talented striker that just couldn’t adapt to the English game. The amount of games played in England, says as much as the amount he scored. Four goals in twenty five games for Jose Mourinho’s side wasn’t enough, and without the industry of a player like Kuyt, or the intelligence of a player like Bergkamp, he was always going to find it difficult to find a place in Mourinho’s powerful team.

Alfonso Alves

Herenveen 39 (45)

Middlesborough 42 (10)

Although playing for a team battling relegation, his record of more than a goal a game for Herenveen is phenomonal. Yet again, Alves was another player expected to solve Middlesborough’s goalscoring problems, though found the English game too difficult to transfer his ability to. Given time at a top club, this may have been a different story. Unfortunately, he just offers more proof of the the size of the task at hand for players making this switch.

I think these statistics prove the excitement at the prospect of signing Suarez might be misplaced. Let’s hope, if the deal goes through, he proves me wrong.

Submitted by Some Team Up North

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8 Comments

  1. Chunky

    January 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

    It is all in the way the player is handled when he starts his EPL career. With proper management Suarez will adapt quite quickly I believe. I am sure Dalglish is astute enough to develop this lad into an important LFC asset. Of that I have no doubts…

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  3. Colie

    January 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    It would be laughable to crticise the signing of Denis Bergkamp by Arsene Wenger, simply because Arsene Wenger didn’t sign Denis Bergkamp. Bergkamp was signed by Bruce Rioch. Facts and Straight.

  4. dionysus

    January 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

    One thing I can tell you about him: He makes Drogba look like an angel. He is a diver! Add that to his handball, ear biting history and you have a fairly petulant player. For a small guy he is actually quite physical, has a great shot, speed, goal scoring instinct, and age on his side. I would buy him, for the right price, 15m to 20m no more. And the noises coming out of Daglish and Comolli are good. They won’t be bullied in the transfer market. Fans mustn’t worry that no signings have been made yet, there will be activity in the market for Liverpool at the last minute.

  5. daboy

    January 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Well as i see it Suarez will not be as good as Bergkamp but a lot better than Babel, i hope Comolli knows what he is doing.

  6. billy nambi

    January 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    please bring back alonso and masc….say no for charlie adam..only know him this session.

  7. nananananana SAMMI,SAMMI,SAMMMMMI NASRRRRIII

    January 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    NEWSFLASH- GET YOUT FACTS RIGHT!

    BERGKAMP MADE 345 STARTS.SCORED 120 GOALS FOR ARSENAL

    WENGER DID NOT SIGN BERGKAMP!!!!!!
    BRUCE RIOCH SIGNED HIM IN 95

    BERGKAMP MADE 124 ASSISTS IN 345 GAMES FOR ARSENAL

    WATCH BERGKAMPS GOAL AGAINST NEWCASTLE

    WATCH HIS HATTRICK AGAINST LEICESTER

    WATCH HIS GOAL AGAINST ARGENTINA

    BERGKAMP= GENIUS AND ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS EVER TO PLAY IN THE EPL

    THAT IS FACT.

    I SHALL NEVER COME YOU HAVE DRIVEN ME AWAY!

  8. Vikram Singh Negi

    January 25, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Crazy, are you?
    Bergkamp never lived upto his reputation.
    He is till date, along with Henry and Cantona, the best foreigner ever to play in England.

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