When a club loses a world class talent, it is only natural to panic and predict an apocalyptic season. Liverpool are no strangers to this feeling; in recent years Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres have all left the club. In each circumstance Liverpool dumbfounded the experts to wind up stronger than they were before or maintained the same standard they had set.
Contrastingly, when Liverpool sold the then underrated Xabi Alonso, they went from perennial Champions League and Premier League contenders, to being exiled into mid-table mediocrity for four seasons - a problem they only rectified last season.
So in which pile does Luis Suarez fall under? Is he an integral part of the Liverpool team or was he simply a cherry on the top?
It is hard to make a prediction until Liverpool kick off their Premier League campaign but it appears Suarez was a cherry on the top. Strange as it is to call someone who scored 31 goals and 12 assists a 'cherry on the top', a wider look at Luis Suarez's stay at Liverpool suggests that is all the Uruguayan man was.
Going back to Xabi Alonso, in his last season with Liverpool (2008/09), the club finished runners-up with a record 86 points. The following season (2009/10) they came 7th with 63 points.
The season after (2010/11) Liverpool came 6th, albeit with a lower tally of 58 points - a season Luis Suarez joined half-way. In the spirit of fairness, it must be stated Liverpool's form did improve in the latter half of the season - though this was not coincidental with Suarez's debut in February, but with the appointment of Kenny Dalglish in January.
In his first full season with Liverpool (2011/12), the club posted their lowest ever points tally (52) in Premier League history as they came 8th.
In the 2012/13 season, Liverpool finished 7th with 61 points, though were left cursing their bad start. In the first 19 games, Liverpool had only scored 27 goals and had 25 points. Meaning, in the second half of that season, Liverpool scored 41 goals and gained 36 points.
So what was the turning point of the season? Was it Luis Suarez? No. Of the 23 goals he scored that season, 11 were scored during the 1st half of the season and 12 were scored in the latter half of the season. In fact, considering Suarez scored more goals in the 2nd half of the season, despite being banned for the last four games after biting Branislav Ivanovic, it appears he was a beneficiary of Liverpool's overall improvement.
So what was the catalyst behind the free-flowing Liverpool you see today? All evidence points towards the signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.
Prior to the duo signing, Brendan Rodgers was busy trying and failing to install a version of tiki-taka into Liverpool. It's not that Liverpool did not keep the ball well, they consistently dominated 60% of possession, but with Luis Suarez floating around up front and then displaying erratic finishing when he was in the box, Liverpool had no focal point.
Matches would often be 0-0 with Liverpool dominating, until a mistake borne from frustration gave the opponents the lead. It did not help that Liverpool's best attacker at the time was a skinny 17 year old, Raheem Sterling - that all changed when Sturridge and Coutinho came in the 2013 January transfer window.
Sturridge, a true center forward unlike Suarez, always wanted to break the offside trap. He became Liverpool's focal point; when defenders were busy occupying him, it gave Luis Suarez the space he needed to roam freely. With that in mind, it is no surprise he scored 31 goals last season.
In Coutinho, Liverpool gained the playmaker they had been lacking for a very long time. The most naturally skilled in the team, he was able to transition the ball to the attacking third far quicker than Liverpool were able to before.
Factor in the versatility Sturridge and Coutinho have, Liverpool gained a fluidity that left defenders bamboozled over who to mark.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Luis Suarez was Liverpool's best player by a distance, but it was only under Brendan Rodgers' system Suarez's talent amounted to something. In his absence, Liverpool still have the presence of Sturridge up front and the playmaking ability of Coutinho - the two most important factors in Liverpool's attack. This is most noticeable when Liverpool were unbeaten in 8 of the 9 matches Suarez was suspended for - winning 6, drawing twice and losing once.
With Sterling improving with every game; Steven Gerrard being revived in the deep-lying playmaker position; as well as the signings of Lambert, Lallana, Emre Can and possibly Markovic, Liverpool have far more resources to work with.
Admittedly none of those players are as good as Luis Suarez and as such Liverpool will struggle to get close to the 101 goals they scored last season, but if those goals had been spread out more evenly across matches (or had Liverpool defended better), they'd have won the league at a canter. They now have £75 million to correct that, thanks to the sale of Luis Suarez.