Luis Suarez has been a fantastic servant for Barcelona. Arriving in 2014 from Liverpool, the Uruguayan international made instant impact as he went on to forge one of the deadliest attacking partnerships in the game, alongside fellow South American superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar, leading Barcelona to immense success.
Till date, the 33-year-old has made 270 appearances for Barcelona, bagging 191 goals and assisting 108, winning four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey trophies and a UEFA Champions League trophy. However, over the past couple of seasons, Suarez has shown signs of slowing down, with his age catching up with him.
Suarez did come up with an impressive return of 14 goals and 11 assists from 23 matches in all competitions before he was ruled out for the season with an injury. But given his age and injury record of late, it is about time that Barcelona look for a long-term replacement for the Uruguayan international.
And here we take a look at five strikers who could be the ideal replacement for Suarez at Barcelona;
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Let’s start with the most obvious one first. Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez has been heavily linked with a summer move to Barcelona for quite some time now. And, to a large extent, a move for the Argentine international makes sense for the La Liga champions.
Martinez has enjoyed a fine 2019-20 season so far, playing a key role in Inter Milan’s push for the Serie A title. The 22-year-old has netted 16 goals in 31 matches across all competitions for the Nerazzurri this term while setting up four more goals.
Speed, power, composure in front of goal, Martinez has it all in his armoury. Moreover, having already played with Barcelona captain Lionel Messi for the Argentine national team, the 22-year-old has struck up some sort of partnership with the little magician, making him the ideal target for Barcelona.
Maxi Gomez (Valencia)
Perhaps replace an Uruguayan with another Uruguayan? Suarez’s compatriot, Maxi Gomez, arrived on the Spanish shores in 2017, signing for Celta Vigo. The 23-year-old made waves in his debut campaign, scoring 18 goals in La Liga, but the past couple of seasons have seen his returns diminish due to injury issues.
Having moved to Valencia in the summer of 2019, Gomez made a great start to life at the Mestalla but has endured a drought as of late. So far, the 17-time capped Uruguayan international has scored nine goals and set up four more in 32 matches in all competitions. That includes a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win against Barcelona in January this year.
Barcelona had expressed an interest in signing Gomez last summer, but had been unable to close the deal. But given the potential that the Uruguayan has shown coupled with his experience in La Liga, he could prove to be a shrewd purchase for the Blaugrana.
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)
The German international has been tearing defences apart in the Bundesliga this season and has what it takes to be a worthy successor of Luis Suarez at Barcelona. A product of the Stuttgart youth academy, Werner signed for RB Leipzig in 2016 and has been critical to their rise to prominence in Germany in recent years.
Werner has amassed a tally of 88 goals in just 150 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit, that includes 27 goals in 36 matches across all competitions this term, highlighting the potency he brings in front of the goal. Add to it, the German international can also be a creator for his teammates as well, much like Suarez, having contributed with 12 assists this season.
At 24, Werner has his best years ahead of him. In his burgeoning career so far, he has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with and should only keep getting better from hereon, making him an enticing prospect for Barcelona to consider signing.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
One of the hottest prospects across Europe, Erling Haaland has been scoring goals for fun this season. The 19-year-old Norwegian joined Austrian outfit RB Salzburg in January last year and made such a huge impact that he was snapped up by Borussia Dortmund in the winter window earlier this year.
So far in the ongoing campaign, Haaland has plundered 40 goals in 33 games across all competitions for Salzburg and Dortmund combined. That also includes ten goals in the UEFA Champions League in just eight matches.
Despite being 19 years of age, Haaland has an imposing physique, while he is also lightning fast on the field and is a top-notch finisher. With a well-rounded game and still plenty of room for development, Haaland can go on to be a great addition to Barcelona for years to come.
Victor Osimhen (Lille)
The Nigerian might not be a well-known quantity outside Ligue 1, but at the age of 21, Victor Osimhen has taken the French top-flight by storm and has already put himself on the radars of a number of big clubs.
Signed by Lille in the last summer, Osimhen has taken to life in the Ligue 1 like a duck to water. In his debut campaign with the French club, the Nigerian forward has already notched up 18 goals and set up six more in 38 matches in all competitions. The 21-year-old has also broken into the Nigerian national team and scored four goals in eight international appearances.
Finishing is one of the strongest attributes in Osimhen’s game and while there is still work to be done for him to become a complete forward, the 21-year-old has shown plenty of potential for Barcelona to take a punt on him this summer.