Liverpool manager plans to play Sturridge through the middle
Daniel Sturridge is Liverpool’s first signing of what is expected to be a very busy transfer window for the Merseyside club. The former Chelsea striker is seen as a good acquisition by Brendan Rodgers considering the transfer fee.
It was a deal suitable for all parties, for Chelsea it opens up space for a new striker in January, for Sturridge it is another opportunity to prove himself at a big club, while for Liverpool it was a necessary addition to the squad which lacks in options upfront.
The question that came up after this transfer was, how Liverpool will accommodate Luis Suarez and Sturridge upfront. And now Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has disclosed that he plans to shift Suarez to a wide role while Sturridge will play through the center.
“I spoke with Luis at length on it a number of times. This has been in the plan for a few months.
“When he played at Ajax he played in behind as a No. 10, in between the lines, and he played as a reverse winger from the left side so he wasn’t quite out wide – he was tucked in round the corner.
“Wherever he plays he will make the same movements and he will find the space because he is a world class player.”
“Daniel’s best position is as a central striker. I have said that 4-3-3 will become richer because of the type of players. There is not one way to play 4-3-3.
“You can have one up and two wingers, a floating nine like Luis Suárez, you can have one like Daniel Sturridge central, two in and around him narrow with full backs bombing on.
“The principles of your game are based on your players. I think for Daniel his best position will be straight through the middle with his pace.”
It would be interesting to see if this change in role affects the game of the Uruguayan international, who has been in tremendous form this season. Suarez has already racked up 15 goals in the league so far. Although Brendan Rodgers believes there won’t be any problems with Suarez shifting out wide, it might disrupt his game.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard meanwhile believes that the stage is set for Daniel Sturridge to show his true potential and fulfil his promise:
“Daniel has the quality. I know he’s got it – I’ve seen it.
“He suffered a bit at Manchester City and moved on to Chelsea where he hasn’t played as much as he wanted but has shown flashes of brilliance.
“I think he’s at the age now when he needs to settle down, get a settled club and show consistently what qualities he’s got. If he can start producing that for us on a weekly basis he can help this club move forward to where we want to be.
“He has said he wants to play football for a big club, the stage is set for him. There will be no excuses for him. He will be playing with good players at a great club.
“It’s all there for him. He just has to go and grasp it with both hands. He’s at an age now where he should be performing week in week out.”
For the 23-year-old striker, this might be the final opportunity for him to prove himself at the big stage. At Liverpool he will get his opportunity on a regular basis and this surely is the most important year of his career so far.
Will he prove his metal or will his career fade into mediocrity? Only time will tell.