Liverpool may have gone 30 years without winning a league title – finally ending that barren run last season – but they still had a host of world-class footballers in their ranks between 1990-2020.
Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Philippe Coutinho were among the elite players who failed to win a Premier League title at Anfield.
Former Liverpool youngster Conor Masterson had the privilege of seeing some of these superstars up close in training.
The centre-back, who joined Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2019 after being released by Liverpool, has conducted a wide-ranging interview with Goal.com about his experiencing with the Merseyside outfit.
After being invited to train with the senior team at Melwood by Brendan Rodgers, the former Liverpool Under-18s captain was struck by the outrageous ability of one player in particular.
Masterson says that Coutinho was special, but insists Daniel Sturridge was on a totally different level.
“Daniel Sturridge, man!” he said. “He was just a joke. He ripped everyone apart.
“[Philippe] Coutinho was good, but Sturridge was on another level.
“He was so sharp, he had pace, he could finish, he had skill, he could do everything.
“He stood out a mile to me.”
It’s easy to forget just how good Sturridge was during his first 18 months at Anfield.
He scored 11 goals in his first 16 appearances for the Reds following his move from Chelsea in 2013 and then netted 24 goals in 33 games the following season as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.
Sturridge’s relationship with Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez was special, and the Anfield faithful were treated to some memorable performances during the 2013-14 campaign.
Sadly, though, Sturridge’s Liverpool career was then hindered by a series of untimely injuries which significantly reduced his playing time over the next five seasons.
The former England international eventually joined Trabzonspor in 2019 but is currently a free agent at the age of 31.
Still, he will forever occupy a special place in the hearts of every Liverpool supporter.
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