Published on December 20th, 2017 | by David Kraakman0
Why there is a supporting pack of strikers to help Uruguay’s World Cup bid
Uruguay is famous for Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, but there is another group of hotshots in Europe this season leading the way
Over the last few years, the goal-scoring responsibility of the whole of Uruguay was mainly down to Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani. Both have bagged an endless amount of goals during their careers and made the people in Uruguay proud. This year, however, for the first time in a while, there have been more Uruguayan players making headlines in Europe for their killer instincts.
It’s especially the case in Spain, where it’s not only Luis Suárez who grabs the spotlights but rather two of his compatriots. The men in question are Maxi Gómez (Celta Vigo) and Cristhian Stuani (Girona).
La Liga top scorers this season:
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) December 18, 2017
Gómez, at just 21, has been one of the biggest revelations in La Liga this season. The striker joined Celta last summer from Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting and has gone on to make quite the impression in Galicia, scoring eight times in his first fifteen league appearances at the club. His striking exploits have even attracted interest from China but thankfully for the player himself, the move has broken down.
The bulky No9 has qualities that should be showcased with the elite instead of a mediocre level like in China. His intelligent striker’s movement, physical nature and clinical finishing make Gómez a special talent and could see him go a long way in the game.
Another Uruguayan doing very well in the Spanish league this season is 31-year-old Cristhian Stuani. The Uruguay international returned to Spain this summer by joining newly-promoted Girona after enjoying spells at Albacete, Levante, Racing Santander and Espanyol.
At Girona, Stuani is perhaps demonstrating his deadliest form in front of goal in Spain, scoring nine goals in fourteen appearances. Stuani’s liveliness in the box has helped Girona up to seventh in the league standings after sixteen match days.
Equal on goals with Stuani in La Liga so far is usual suspect Luis Suárez. El Pistolero is familiar in the Pichichi charts, coming second last season (29 goals) and winning it in 2015/16 (40 goals) but looked totally off the pace at the beginning of this campaign. Injury issues and bad form resulted in a couple of horror showings in front of goal.
Over the last few weeks, Suárez’ form has improved significantly, however, and he is back among the finest goal-scorers in La Liga after managing six in his last five league appearances.
If the Uruguayan trio keep it up, there is no reason why they can’t hit at least 15/20+ league goals this season which would make it a unique campaign in terms of goals scored by Uruguayan players in a European league.
Not only is this ideal for their clubs but the situation also gives Uruguay manager Óscar Tabárez some good options to choose from in Russia next summer. This season has shown that even if Suárez and Cavani fail to deliver the goods, there are other qualified players ready to grab their chance.