England international striker Daniel Sturridge made his return from injury in Liverpool’s 5-3 victory over Stoke yesterday.
The former-Chelsea striker came off the substitutes to create a goal for Luis Suarez and score a goal himself.
Sturridge had missed the previous nine games for the Reds through injury and in the meantime Liverpool have dropped off the pace in the race for the Premier League title.
The Reds have not been awful in Sturridge’s absence though, largely due to Luis Suarez’s incredible scoring form.
Liverpool are currently in fourth place, in the thick of the battle for the Champions League places this season.
The Reds face stiff competition from the likes of neighbours Everton, Tottenham and reigning champions Manchester United for that top four spot. Having all their key players fit for the rest of the season will be important in that race and Sturridge is definitely now one of those players.
Sturridge has formed an almost telepathic strike-partnership with Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. The pair have scored 32 Premier League goals between them this season, ten more than the whole of the Stoke team put together.
Sturridge has scored ten of those goals and the striker’s goals were vital in the first few months of the season, with Suarez missing through suspension. Sturridge made an instant impact on his return to the team and his partnership with Suarez resumed immediately.
Sturridge has forced his way into the reckoning with England and could be a very useful asset to Roy Hodgson’s team in Brazil at the World Cup. The Three Lions are not overly blessed with striking options and in current form there are few more dangerous English strikers in the Premier League.
Prior to sustaining his injury, Sturridge had become a regular first choice striker for England and he will be expecting to return to the England starting eleven in the Three Lions next fixtures.
Sturridge has improved immensely since he arrived at Liverpool last January from Chelsea. He is no longer the mercurial, impact player he used to be at Stamford Bridge. He was only used sporadically during his time at Chelsea.
However at Liverpool he is first choice and an important player. Being valued so highly has seen a marked improvement in his confidence and performances. The fact that he has been played in his preferred role of central striker for much of his Reds career has also helped his scoring record.
The 24-year-old has blossomed into an outstanding player and Chelsea may just regret selling the striker, with the Blues strikers failing to hit the back of the net on a regular basis this season.
As important as Luis Suarez is to the Reds, at some point he will surely go through a lean spell in front of goal, as it can happen to the best of strikers. It is then that Daniel Sturridge will become even more important to Liverpool.
Sturridge has to maintain his goalscoring form if he is going to be an important player for England as well as Liverpool. He has an outstanding scoring record so far for Liverpool since his arrival at Anfield.
The former-Manchester City ace has now scored 20 goals in 27 appearances for the Reds, which is a very good tally for a player that had previously had only scored 26 games in his whole career.
Daniel Sturridge has become a vital player for Liverpool this season and could go on to be an important player for England in the next year. Daniel Sturridge’s return could not have come at a better time for the Reds.
The striker’s performances may be overshadowed by the brilliant Suarez, but the England international still has a big part to play in the Reds challenge for the Champions League places this season. No doubt Sturridge will score vital goals before the season ends.
Can Daniel Sturridge fire Liverpool into the Champions League?