I don’t want to underplay the role of all the new signings at Anfield. Kolo Toure’s experience and energy at the back will pay dividends over the course of this season. Mamadou Sahko is a top defender. Victor Moses’ pace and power will be an excellent tonic to Stewart Downing’s aimless meanderings.
But that will count for naught if the Reds aren’t putting the ball in the back of the net.
Luis Suarez is the best striker at the club (and one of the best strikers in world football), but given the length of his ban, fans had every right to be concerned.
After all, the Reds weren’t at their prolific best last season and it was Suarez who did most of the heavy lifting when it came to goal-scoring. Luckily, Brendan Rodgers had a man who was ready to step up when called about.
I’m talking about Daniel Sturridge. The same Sturridge who has scored 16 goals in his first 20 appearances for Liverpool. He’s been nothing short of prolific and has already proven to be an extremely astute signing. Good on you, Brendan!
Fans may not have expected him to carry his form from last season over to this one, but it’s clear he has. In 4 appearances, he’s already scored 5 goals. This includes an extremely important goal against long-term rivals, Manchester United.
It’s already clear that Sturridge can handle Liverpool’s goal-scoring burden. And with the likes of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel soaking up pressure at the back, Brendan Rodgers has a recipe for success on his hands. The importance of Luis Suarez seems to be dwindling day-today.
It’s worth noting, briefly, that Sturridge provides more than goal-threat. He’s a smart footballer, who’s more than capable of holding the ball up and bringing others into play (though he can be a little selfish at times). He’s also got flicks and tricks in his bag that make him stand out from your typical England youngster.
Given the Reds current position in the Premier League table, it’s beginning to look like Chelsea were foolish to let them get a hold of Sturridge. The fact that they let him go for just £12m just sweetens the deal.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up being Liverpool’s Player of the Year.
What’s your take? Just how important will Daniel Sturridge be this season?
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