If there is something that Uruguayans know how to do, it’s score goals – and that’s the case for two in different levels of La Liga
El Pistolero back to his brilliant best
Luis Suárez has started the year like a house on fire. In the last few games of 2017, you could see a clear improvement in Suárez’ form but it wasn’t until the turn of the year that we have seen him back to his best. His performances against Celta de Vigo and Real Sociedad weren’t just good because of his goals but above all because of his overall play.
When you look at strikers, you sometimes think that they are just a goal-scorers but don’t bring much to the team. That has never been the case with Suárez, however. Besides his goals, Suárez always created danger by his dribbling and good passing. In the last few weeks, we have seen that again and it has pleasantly surprised a lot of his harshest critics who thought Suárez was finished.
His first goal against Sociedad on the weekend was pure class and was also a sign of confidence. Two months ago, he would’ve looked for Messi instead of going for goal himself. The second goal was the same story. Suárez, now with a much easier chance, had Messi alongside him but decided to do it on his own. With his two goals, plus an assist, the man born in Salto guided Barcelona to a 2-4 win at the Anoeta, breaking a 10-year curse of Barca not winning there.
With this kind of form, Suárez can, like in 2014/15 and 2015/16, be vital for Barca in the knockout rounds of the Champions League. And in the World Cup for Uruguay, of course!
The revival of Michael Santos
Uruguayans hit the headlines this weekend, including Sporting Gijón striker Michael Santos. The 24-year-old is enjoying life at Gijón in the Segunda División as he has finally been given the confidence by his manager. At Málaga, the club that still owns him but who have loaned him out to Sporting for the season, Santos was rarely given continuity after he had been signed in the summer of 2016.
Santos came over from River Plate Montevideo, where he guided the club to its first ever Copa Libertadores participation, scoring 24 goals in 32 appearances during the 2014/15 season.
Málaga acknowledged the talent and signed him up but Santos never really got a fair chance during his debut season and wanted to get a shot elsewhere. Now at Gijón, Santos has been one of the best players in the league and his goal last Saturday was his fifth in the last four games and his 11th in the league, making him the league’s third highest goal scorer.
In contrast, Málaga are now 19th in La Liga and are crying out for a consistent striker. Santos, however, has already made it clear that he wants to extend his stay at Gijón, which would be a sensible decision.