Daniel Sturridge has hailed Steven Gerrard as “a dream to play with” and suggested the midfielder played a key role in advancing the careers of a number of his former team-mates.
Ex-England captain Gerrard is set to head to MLS to represent LA Galaxy after bringing his lengthy association with Liverpool to an end.
Sturridge, absent for much of Liverpool’s 2014-15 campaign through injury but a prolific scorer in the previous season, appreciates the impact Gerrard can have on a centre-forward.
“I think for a striker he’s a dream to play with because you’re always going to get chances, you’re always going to score and the players that have been here have reaped the rewards of playing with him as well,” Sturridge told Liverpool’s website.
“If you look at Michael Owen and [Fernando] Torres, [Luis] Suarez – all their careers have elevated from playing with Stevie, just as they’ve helped him, but I think as strikers you need players who give you the ball in the right areas.
“If you ask a lot of players around the world who they would’ve liked to have played with, a lot of them would say Stevie because of the pinpoint passing accuracy he has, as well as getting stuck in and spraying balls 40 yards – as the song [sung by Liverpool fans] says.
“He’s a great player, one of the legends. I think he’s the best that Liverpool have ever had, in my opinion.”
Sturridge also discussed the “aura” of Gerrard, who scored 186 goals in 710 appearances for Liverpool and memorably captained the club to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005.
The forward added: “I’d probably say a lot of players think he’s the best they’ve ever played against and the best they’ve played with, and there’s always a fear factor around him regardless what position he’s playing, regardless of how many minutes he’s played.
“He’s got an aura around him, he’s got that thing not everyone has. Not everyone has a fear factor but he’s got a fear factor and he’s still got it to this day because of all he’s achieved and what he still does now as well.”
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