The days of Liverpool’s SAS seem a distant memory and although Luis Suarez has long since departed Anfield, the other half of the famous duo remains an integral part of Liverpool’s plans for the future.
In fact, with such a goal shy strike force it seems that Daniel Sturridge holds the key to Jurgen Klopp’s men pushing for a top four finish. However, the mercurial Englishman will need to evade his recent chain of injuries to ensure he can keep the goals flowing for the Merseyside outfit.
The 26-year-old possesses an incredible goal scoring record at Liverpool with 37 league strikes in only 57 appearances. There is little doubt the ex-Chelsea forward is a prolific striker, even without his Uruguayan partner in crime.
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Moreover, looking at Klopp’s alternative options in forward positions, Sturridge seems the only man whom has a proven, consistent scoring record in the Premier League.
Christian Benteke was looking to have finally settled into his role at Liverpool with vital strikes against Chelsea and Southampton, yet a lackadaisical performance versus Crystal Palace reminded the Kop of his lingering inconsistency.
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As for Divock Origi, despite being shown considerable faith by Klopp, the Belgian is simply being bullied in England’s top division. Although the forward is an exciting future prospect, he's proving resoundingly inept in the starting line-up at the moment.
FLOUNDERING STRIKE FORCE
Liverpool’s only other shining light up front this season has proven Danny Ings. However, a shock long-term injury has seen his influence postponed until the summer.
With rumours linking Sturridge with a return from injury against Manchester City after the international break, Liverpool fans are heralding the return of a man who could finally get the Klopp-era truly underway.
There are very few players in the Premier League who can match the forward’s invention, dribbling and ability to slink through the most minor of cracks in a back four. Furthermore, with raw pace and immaculate balance, Sturridge is the complete package.
THE SPARK LIVERPOOL NEED
Despite this, since the start of last season, injuries have plagued the 26-year-old. Every return to the side has seen the team lifted and it takes Sturridge mere minutes to switch on the goalscoring form. After all, his brief cameo of three games this season saw two goals - not bad for a player who had been crocked over the summer.
If Klopp’s men are to make the promised land of the Champions League they will need Sturridge fit and firing. Liverpool have, in the England international, one of the best strikers in the league and as long as injuries stay clear, he could prove the key in a late season charge.
With Origi and Benteke far from stepping up to the plate, Klopp must turn to Sturridge and keep his fingers crossed that the forward has finally overcome his persistent niggles.