Article by Adam Brown  @ScouseAdamMV

When Daniel Sturridge first arrived at Anfield, it was soon clear that the former Chelsea striker had all the attributes to be considered amongst the world’s elite. The 11 goals in his first half season were just the start; 2013/14 would see the star forward total 21 goals and seven assists in 29 appearances.

The most promising aspect of Sturridge’s opening seasons with Liverpool was the variation of goals the hitman was capable of. From perfect finesse finishes to narrow angled strikes and deft lobs, the Liverpool man proved that he has the instincts which only the best strikers carry.

Undeniably, some unfortunate injuries have caused frustration amongst some supporters, but no one will be more frustrated than the player himself.

The Reds have been in a process of rebuilding for almost a decade; the last time Liverpool finished in the top four in consecutive seasons was in 2007/08 and 2008/09. With Klopp’s squad now looking like one of the best Liverpool sides of the Premier League era, Sturridge’s ability could be extremely valuable as the side looks to challenge for silverware.

Of course, recent fitness concerns mean that it is unclear whether Liverpool’s hip-hop quiz master could play 90 minutes in all of the Reds games this campaign, but depending on success, Klopp’s side may have to play over 50 games – which means that the whole squad will be required to contribute if Liverpool are going to win trophies.

With the likes of Naby Keita, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane supporting Liverpool’s frontman, players like Sturridge can only flourish. Great players play better when surrounded with top players – and the 2013/14 season with Luis Suarez is a testament to that.

An exciting option for Klopp to consider would be a 4-2-3-1 system where Roberto Firmino could be utilised in the 10 – there would be no shortage of chances if Sturridge leads the line in this system.

While it’s only pre-season, Sturridge has looked sharp so far; his link-up play with Naby Keita has been particularly impressive. Aside from scoring, Sturridge has also been able to fashion chances for teammates – an ability which is sometimes overlooked and play which would highly benefit the likes of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Should form continue on the U.S tour, there’s no reason why Liverpool shouldn’t keep Studge around.

Of course, it may well be that the player would prefer to start every game elsewhere, and, with the quality of Liverpool’s side this year, it’s going to be tough for everyone to nail down their place in the starting XI; we have genuine strength in depth this season.

If managed right, Sturridge could easily hit double figures. Whilst this may mean less game time, it could deliver more success as Liverpool look to challenge for every competition this season. The Reds can’t rely on youth this campaign. It would be great to give the likes of Solanke more opportunities, but, Liverpool need players to produce on a consistent basis – number 15 is the man who is most ready to do that as he enters into his prime years. We haven’t seen the last of the ‘ride the wave’ yet.

Article by Adam Brown  @ScouseAdamMV

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