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LIVERPOOL STRIKER IS PLAYER OF THE SEASON, NOT GARETH BALE
Betfair: 4 March 2013

Reproduced with permission from betting.betfair.com. (c) The Sporting Exchange Limited.

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While the fanfare continues to surround Gareth Bale's performances in a white shirt, Luis Suarez is really the player of the season according to Christian Crowther...

Liverpool's thrashing of Wigan on Saturday promised their fans a fine end to the season and hinted at a brighter future in general under Brendan Rodgers.

Of course, this is still a tad speculative, but what is not in question is the utter brilliance of Liverpool's number seven Luis Suarez.

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The Uruguayan's hat-trick at the DW Stadium was his second Premier League treble of the season and propelled him to 21 league goals in total - taking him two ahead of Manchester United's Robin van Persie.

Unsurprisingly, Suarez is now the 1.77 favourite to finish as the league's top marksman with main rival van Persie currently rated at 3.0.

By breaching the 20-goal barrier, Suarez also gained membership to an extremely select club at Anfield, joining Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres as the only Liverpool players in the Premier league era to have surpassed that mark.

However, while Suarez has undoubtedly picked up plaudits along the way to this stunning total, he is still being somewhat overlooked in the PFA Player of the Year market which, frankly, is wrong.

Currently, it is Gareth Bale who has been backed into heavy favouritism at 1.60, while Suarez is rated at 11.0, with van Persie filling the sandwich at 3.9.

There is no denying both other candidates are enjoying phenomenal seasons, especially at present Bale, whose star continued to rise still further on Sunday by notching his ninth goal in seven games against Arsenal to put Tottenham in command for Champions League qualification.

The Welshman is a rare talent indeed but is enjoying playing in a side which has flourished this season. The same is true of van Persie at the runaway league leaders.

Not to take too much away from the Dutchman either but the service he has been provided at Old Trafford by the likes of Wayne Rooney far outweighs that from which Suarez has been afforded at times this season, especially when Liverpool were really struggling to find their identity earlier in the season.

That is what really separates Suarez's achievements this season. The Uruguayan has created so many goals for himself, by jinking though defences or rifling in free-kicks.

Bale may have propelled Spurs forward during this purple patch since Christmas, but Suarez has been scoring spectacular goals all season long in a side which is only just beginning to tick.


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