Daniel Sturridge is to be relegated into a peripheral role at Liverpool next season if Christian Benteke completes his protracted move from Aston Villa this summer, according to reports.
The Daily Mirror claim that Brendan Rodgers is worried over Sturridge’s ability to remain fit for an entire campaign, and as a result will spend the majority of the cash garnered from Raheem Sterling’s sale to Manchester City on finding a better model.
Benteke move on
It’s believed a deal that will see Benteke move to Anfield is close, with it having been reported yesterday that Ian Ayre would be attempting to finalise negotiations having made a bid that activates the Belgian’s £32.5million release clause.
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Yet the 24-year-old’s switch means yet more woe for Sturridge, who spent the majority of last season unable to feature due to a string of injuries.
The England star’s absence cost Rodgers dearly, with Liverpool noticeably weak going forward due to the lack of a prolific frontman.
As a result Rodgers, who is himself treading on thin ice after a disappointing campaign, isn’t ready to gamble on Sturridge again, and so by the time the former Manchester City man returns to full fitness in October he could find Benteke firmly blocking his path to the starting XI.
It’s believed that if Sturridge can convince Rodgers he can be relied upon he’ll be used out wide as a support act, with Benteke playing through the middle.
What that means for new-boy Danny Ings is anyone’s guess, although it now looks certain that the services of Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli will be dispensed of.
Liverpool fans, is Benteke better than Sturridge? Should Rodgers place his faith in the England international? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.