Luis Suarez’s slow start to life in Barcelona has prompted several media inquisitors to question whether the £75m sharpshooter was worth such a hefty outlay and his employers to subsequently jumped to his defence.
The bulk of the criticism came after he failed to find the net in the Catalan club’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Following Los Blaugrana’s triumph, his tally in maroon and blue stands at five goals in 16.
After witnessing him score at will for Liverpool in the previous campaign, expectant fans may well have fancied to see Suarez’s name on the scoresheet more frequently, but the Premier League’s leading marksman from last season is about to crank up the intensity.
The 27-year-old has surfed the hottest of hot streaks only to collide with lengthy cool spells across his career.
As the graphic below depicts, these periods of gluttonous goal-getting interspersed with lean stints occur multiple times across single seasons.
His final months at Ajax offer the clearest example of this yet, with seven of his nine Eredivisie and Champions League (not including qualifiers) strikes falling in the first four matches of the 2010/11 season.
It took him 15 outings to get his final two in De Godenzonen colours before departing for Anfield.
His first half season on Merseyside reaped similar rewards to those of the current campaign, with just four goals struck in his maiden 13 appearances for Liverpool.
Low-scoring returns, it would appear, are nothing new for Suarez in the immediate aftermath of a big move.
A frustrating first full year in the Premier League followed, where only 11 were notched in 31, but once fully settled in the Reds’ side, he proved quite the fiend in the final third.
Successive hauls crossing the 30-goal mark followed, though the peaks and troughs are evident across both terms.
His first 17 of the of 2012/13 vintage yielded 13, then a less electrifying 18 games only brought nine net bulges, before a scintillating end to proceedings saw eight registered in nine.
Suarez’s final season at Anfield produced similar prodigious then impoverished patterns.
It took an eye-watering 16 games for him to hit the 20-goal mark, but three in ten saw talk of a record-breaking tally quashed, only to be reignited by an eight-goal surge in his final 11.
With four in his last eight for Barcelona, the Uruguayan is on the cusp of a blistering streak, so don’t miss out on him bagging over 9.5 La Liga goals in 2014/15 at 17/20.