Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen believes Liverpool’s push for a top-four finish this season would have come up short without the contribution of striker Luis Suarez.
The free-scoring Reds have been winning plenty of plaudits in recent weeks, and currently lie second in the Premier League table after Saturday’s 6-3 win at Cardiff.
Suarez hit a hat trick in South Wales, taking his tally for the campaign to 28 league goals, but Vertonghen is adamant that without his contribution Liverpool would not be outperforming Spurs as they have done this term.
“Suarez is the reason for that,” Vertonghen told reporters, ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Anfield on Sunday. “At the moment he [Suarez] is up there as one of the best strikers in the world. I think he is the difference between the teams. [Daniel] Sturridge obviously is doing well and those two are very hard to stop.
“Liverpool are one of the best teams in the league and they show it every week. It is going to be very hard, especially at Anfield, and I hope we can play as we did last season because we did very well, not the result but the performance.”
Spurs were unfortunate to lose on Merseyside last season, with that result proving pivotal to their failure to ultimately finish in the top four.
However, despite currently being six points off fourth-placed Arsenal and having played a game more, Vertonghen has not given up hope of claiming a place in next season’s Champions League.
“We will try and get as many points as possible and, in the end, we will see what we get,” Vertonghen said. “We will not give up until it is mathematically over. We will try to get as far as possible. With the mentality in the team, there is nothing wrong.”