By Alex McMahon
Sturridge scored twice in the win over Villa to ease the pressure on Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge netted two goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 victory against Aston Villa on Saturday to ease the mounting pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers. The England international, who made his return from injury in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City earlier this month, was instrumental in their latest win and was at the heart of Liverpool’s attacking play.
Sturridge has played a key role for Liverpool since joining the club back in January 2013 and the striker will be looking to continue his scoring run against Everton on Sunday. Here are five reasons why Sturridge is absolutely crucial to Liverpool’s chances of silverware this season.
Sturridge suits their style of play
Liverpool play a unique brand of attacking football and, although Sturridge has suffered from a number of recurring injury issues, the Reds have become accustomed to having the England international as the focal point of their strikeforce.
Rodgers has always tried to build his teams around individual brilliance and that has been no different at Liverpool. Previously, he built around Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling but it may be time for Sturridge to take centre stage at Anfield.
Liverpool have struggled to score in his absence
While Sturridge was sidelined, Liverpool found it extremely difficult to cause problems for opposing defences. Prior to the Aston Villa match, the Reds had failed to score more than one goal in 11 consecutive league fixtures.
Not only is Sturridge a natural finisher, but he’s also a born leader and his presence in attack will give a confidence boost to the entire squad. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the likes of Danny Ings, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino raise their game and contribute a few goals.
The Sturridge-Benteke partnership could flourish in attack
Liverpool paid £32.5 million for Christian Benteke this summer but the Belgian hasn’t had much opportunity to play alongside Sturridge in attack. Benteke is currently nursing a hamstring injury and may face some time on the sidelines.
However, the two are set to form a deadly duo in Liverpool’s potent attack upon Benteke’s return. Both players are capable of scoring and creating opportunities, which should mean that the Reds may go on to net plenty of goals with those two upfront.
‘Attack is the best form of defence’
During Rodgers’ tenure at the club, Liverpool have typically been an aggressive, attacking unit and have struggled to keep clean sheets. Their philosophy has always remained the same this season but they haven’t posed the same threat without Sturridge leading their attack.
Now that the England striker is back to full fitness, the Reds will cause numerous problems for opposing defenders. While they may still concede a goal or two in most matches, they should now eradicate all of their attacking issues and start winning matches again.
Sturridge is one of the top strikers in the Premier League
Without a doubt, the England man ranks alongside the likes of Diego Costa and Harry Kane as an elite Premier League striker. Sergio Aguero is different class but it would be hard to argue that Sturridge isn’t the second best forward in the top flight, or at least on par with the Chelsea man.
Since joining Liverpool, Sturridge has scored 37 goals in 57 Premier League matches – an incredible achievement. His downfall has been injuries and Liverpool will be hoping that Sturridge will remain injury-free for the remainder of the season. If they can keep him fit, they will challenge for a place in the top four this season.
Do you agree that Sturridge is the key to Liverpool’s top four aspirations? Is the England international one of the top three strikers in the Premier League? Let us know your thoughts!
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