Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
Human beings love comparisons, have long been obsessed with finding the prettiest girl, constructing the tallest building, owning the fastest car and identifying the most potent striker.
Right now few would disagree that, in England at least and probably far beyond, the latter label belongs to Luis Suárez. Still high on the adrenalin produced by the Uruguayan's four exquisite goals during Liverpool's 5-1 demolition of Norwich at Anfield on Wednesday night some people are even suggesting Suárez has already eclipsed Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Agüero, Dennis Bergkamp, Didier Drogba and Eric Cantona – the list goes on – in the Premier League's all-time pantheon of attacking talent.
Such comparisons are not only invidious but utterly pointless. Particularly as Suárez is so much more than an outright striker. A two-footed creator supreme, he ranks as an extra special talent but it is impossible to liken him to anyone else as such exercises lack vital context.
After all, a striker's status and goals tally hinge on many things; chemistry with attacking partners, calibre of midfield supply lines, managerial tactics, style of play, time and place and, possibly above all, avoidance of serious injury.
Take Michael Owen for instance; the former England striker is "convinced" he would have achieved far, far more had his body not been "compromised" by a series of career threatening injuries. Moreover those that claim Owen's game was all about playing off the shoulder of the last defender never saw him turn unexpected technically assured creator during a brief stint as an attacking midfielder under Kevin Keegan at Newcastle.
Context really is king when it comes to assessing footballing talent but the good news for Suárez is that, against all apparent summer-time odds, the prevailing conditions at Anfield are ticking an awful lot of boxes when it comes to creating the perfect framework against which to showcase his considerable talent.
So far this season no one can match El Pistolero's consistency, class or sheer creativity. "Luis Suárez is not only the best striker in the Premier League this season he's threatening to emerge as the most dangerous in the entire game ahead of next summer's World Cup in Brazil," says John Aldridge, a far from shabby former Liverpool centre forward.
"I'm not going to say he's at the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo," adds Aldridge. "But unlike Ronaldo he's an out-and-out striker. And Suárez is capable of doing things on a football pitch that most mortals, apart from Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, can merely dream about."
In a different era, under very different circumstances Suárez is proving every bit as important to Liverpool as the similarly inventive, improvisational and talismanic Cantona once was to Manchester United. Like Cantona he possesses a complicated, sometimes rather dark, hinterland. Indeed just as the Frenchman's extraordinary talent saw him overcome that dreadful kung fu kick at Crystal Palace, so Suárez's gloriously subtle movement, on the ball ingenuity, breathtaking change of pace and astonishing willpower have seen not only the biting of Branislav Ivanovic and the racism furore surrounding his exchanges with Patrice Evra all but swept under the carpet.
As a brilliant Guardian headline earlier this year suggested the Ivanovic incident seemed set to make it a case of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" for Suárez and Liverpool but despite the Uruguayan's desperation to depart for north London and Arsenal's bid of £40m plus £1, Brendan Rodgers kept his man.
More importantly Rodgers manoeuvred Suárez into a corner; put him in a position where he "owed" Liverpool's manager and Anfield season ticket holders. In a world of Twitter, Facebook and 24 hour rolling news there is far too much manufactured "outrage", too many "knee-jerk" reactions but, in Suárez's case this summer, there were real reasons for anger on Merseyside and he knew it.
"Luis is not fazed by much," says Rodgers, with considerable understatement. "He's got remarkable mental strength, he's just so focused but he knew it would be very, very hard for him if he wasn't very, very good when he came back from the (biting) ban."
Suárez's knack of petrifying defenders – "messing with their heads" in football vernacular – has brought him 13 goals in only nine Premier League appearances this season. Judging by his ferociously disciplined, unselfish demeanour, regular sessions with Dr Steve Peters, Liverpool's club psychiatrist aimed at controlling his excesses are paying dividends.
"Luis is a phenomenal player," says Robbie Fowler, a technically accomplished, finisher supreme dubbed "God" by the Kop during his own Anfield glory days. "I love him but I'm also starting to dislike him because he makes all the ex-Liverpool strikers look very average."
Goodness knows what Suárez and Liverpool might achieve if – and it probably remains a very big if – they remain together for much longer. Should that happen the 26-year-old is not likely to stick as the 75th joint all-time Premier League leading scorer – he's currently level with Dirk Kuyt and Andrew Johnson on 51 goals – for any length of time.
Yet rather than become too hooked up on statistics, overly worried about how many goals he will score in the future, Liverpool fans are probably best advised to avoid peering into too many crystal balls and instead concentrate on enjoying the moment.
The ever-present spectre of injury, further disciplinary meltdown or, most likely, poaching from a broad dictate that Suárez's ability effectively to switch on the lights at Anfield may prove ephemeral. We should relish watching him while we can.