Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Reds striker Daniel Sturridge will miss the start of next season.
The England international had recently travelled to the United States to have an operation on his hip.
Rodgers confirmed the news telling Sky Sports: “We anticipate Daniel (Sturridge) will be back training around September time and we are hopeful the issues he’s had have been resolved.”
Sturridge has missed a major chunk of the campaign with thigh and hips problems, making just 12 Premier League appearances and scoring four goals this season. It is a far cry from last season when the striker scored 21 goals in the top-flight.
Sturridge just cannot seem to avoid picking up injuries. Every time the 25-year-old recovers from an injury he suffers a setback.
His absence has meant that the Reds have struggled to score goals in the Premier League this season. His absence and the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona have prevented the Reds from mounting the expected challenge for the Premier League title.
The Reds are currently fifth-place in the Premier League title and have scored less than half of the amount of goals scored last season in the top-flight. They have looked completely toothless in attack at times season, as they have depended on young winger Raheem Sterling to be the focal point of their attack.
The other strikers available to Brendan Rodgers have been highly-ineffective. Reds trio Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have all been poor in front of goal. None of the threesome has been the striker that Rodgers side needed to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Borini returned to Liverpool in the summer after a moderately successful spell on-loan at Sunderland. The Italian was not good enough to become a first team regular in his first season with the Reds, yet he decided to return to Anfield and fight for his place in the team.
He even turned down a permanent move to Sunderland to prove himself on Merseyside. Unfortunately for everybody involved he has struggled to find form. The former-Chelsea trainee has made 18 appearances, but started just five games in all competitions and has scored just one goal.
That performance is likely to lead to the Italian leaving the club this summer, possibly on a permanent basis.
Lambert was never going to be a star at Anfield. He was always brought in as a plan B, but has struggled on his return to his home city. Lambert has made 33 appearances in all competitions this season and scored just three goals.
The former-Saints star turned down a January move to Aston Villa. However, like Borini looks set to leave the Merseyside club this summer.
Balotelli was always a maverick signing. The Italian has always been talented, but has always had a temperamental more changeable than the British weather. On form he is unstoppable and can rival most players in the world.
Unfortunately when he is in the wrong frame of mind he struggles to give his team anything positive. He seems to have been in that frame of mind since joining the Reds last summer from AC Milan in a deal worth around £16million.
The Italy international has found the net four times in 28 appearances for Liverpool, not exactly inspiring figures for a player who in Euro 2012 looked like he could be ready to become a truly world-class talent.
Even without the injury to Daniel Sturridge Liverpool were going to need to sign a new striker this summer. Now the need for a top-class striker to be added to the Reds squad is even greater, especially with the likelihood of strikers leaving.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has not exactly covered himself in glory with his signings so far in his Liverpool career. This summer is a big one for the Northern Irishman and his managerial career.
Critics are now starting to question whether he can take the Reds forward in the near future. A key to that progression is getting his recruitment right this summer, with a fully-fit striker surely at the top of his transfer wishlist.
Can Liverpool sign a top-class striker this summer?
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