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Heskey: Liverpool can only benefit from Origi-Sturridge competition

Emile Heskey believes the fight between Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge to be Liverpool’s first-choice forward can only benefit the team.

Sturridge’s campaign has been badly affected by injuries, the England international making just 13 starts across all competitions thus far.

His fitness woes, and the below-par displays of Christian Benteke, have opened the door for Origi, who has hit a recent run of form with four goals in his past three matches.

Two of those came in the thrilling Europa League quarter-final tie with Borussia Dortmund and former Liverpool striker Heskey – who won the UEFA Cup, two League Cups and an FA Cup in a four-year stint at Anfield – says having in-form forwards fighting for one position is a huge plus for manager Jurgen Klopp.

“I think there’s a place for them both, they’re pushing each other, so that’s healthy competition, which is great for the team,” Heskey told Omnisport.

“You’ve got to remember the lad [Origi] is only 20 so he’s still got a lot of learning to do. They’re going to be bouncing off each other and he’s going to be learning a lot from Daniel and Daniel’s going to be pushing himself to keep himself in top form as well.

“I’m not sure [I can see them] playing alongside each other. It all depends on the system they want to play, but it’s good competition and good for the team because it will always bring the best out of each player.”

Thursday’s sensational Europa League comeback against Dortmund was evidence of Liverpool’s progress under Klopp, but Heskey believes the young side remain a work in progress.

“There’s a bit of work to do, you can see it in patches that he’s really enhanced them but it is in patches,” he said.

“To get the consistency going they still need a season or two and they are still quite young.”

When asked on what Liverpool’s targets for next season should be, Heskey replied: “Win the league! But realistically, top four.

“I think they’ve got to try and break into that and then just take it step by step that way. Obviously they’re in the [Europa League] semi-finals this season and getting into the top four is going to be an aim for next season.”

Fri 15 Apr, 2016
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