Throughout the off-season, Liverpool have signed a couple of players that will hopefully help the Reds’ offense. Some of these players include Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic. If successfully implemented in Brendan Rodgers’ relentless attacking system, these players could prove to be great signings. However, for Liverpool to be Premier League title contenders, Daniel Sturridge will need to elevate his game.
In the 2013-2014 Premier League season, Daniel Sturridge had a great campaign, putting 21 goals into the net. This was behind Luis Suarez’ exceptional season, where he managed to score 31 goals in 33 league appearances. This deadly duo between Suarez and Sturridge gave name to the acronym “SAS” (Suarez and Sturridge). The team got attention from everywhere in Europe and they slowly became one of the best partnerships in the world. Both players had breakout seasons, but for the most part, Luis Suarez was the one with most of the attention.
Last year, at the beginning of the Premier League season, Suarez was not available for the first five games. In those five games, Sturridge managed to get an aggregate of four goals. Maybe it is not an exceptional number, but it shows that Sturridge can play good without the Uruguayan striker, who is now with Barcelona. Liverpool’s attacking force will not be as strong without Suarez, but it can still manage to be a threat. In order for this to happen, Sturridge will need to play even better than last year.
Sturridge and Sterling
Recently, Liverpool fans around the world have made comments on how Sterling and Sturridge are the new “SAS” partnership. Both players are relatively young and Sterling has even made a name for himself in England and a bit in Europe. After all, Sterling was on the shortlist for “PFA Young Player of the Year” this past season. Since Sterling’s style of play relies mostly on speed and agility, he could open the field easily and set up goal scoring chances for other Liverpool strikers. When paired up with an efficient finisher such as Sturridge, they could easily make a great duo.
In their first match of the 2014-2015 Premier League season against Southampton, Sterling and Sturridge each managed to score a goal to give Liverpool the 2-1 win over Southampton. Sturridge’s goal in that match came from an assist from Sterling, showing that the two are more than capable of complementing each other. These players will need to play exceptionally this season if they want to replicate anything close to what Suarez and Sturridge were doing together last year. Although they are, of course, not the only ones in the attacking force, it seems likely that they will be playing together on the pitch often.
With the departure of Suarez, expectations for Liverpool have certainly gotten lower. Many pundits and soccer fans around the world do not think that Liverpool will be the same team as last year. Whether this will be true or not, Sturridge will not have too much pressure on him. If the new signings such as Adam Lallana and Emre Can manage to efficiently play in Brendan Rodgers’ style of play, Sturridge can definitely have another great season. If Sturridge does elevate his game, Liverpool could turn into a candidate for the Premier League title this season.