Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has underlined the importance of Daniel Sturridge to the club after the striker’s double helped his team to a 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the weekend.
The 26-year-old spent the majority of the 2014-15 campaign on the sidelines due to injury and also missed the opening weeks of this season.
He made his comeback in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City last week, though, before opening his account for the season versus Villa and Lawrenson believes his return will prove to be a major boost.
“That’s what you get from Daniel Sturridge. That’s why he has been such a big miss for Liverpool this season and last,” Lawrenson wrote in his column for The Liverpool Echo.
“And that’s why, when he was knocking them in along with Luis Suarez, we nearly won the Premier League.
“I can guarantee Sturridge will have been second-guessing himself when he stepped on to the field against Aston Villa. He’ll have been asking himself whether he can still do it. Whether his fitness could hold up, having not long been working again the main group, as Brendan Rodgers likes to call it.
“Two goals later – and brilliantly taken they were too – and Sturridge will be flying. Confidence is always a big thing in football. But I would say that for Sturridge, it’s a massive, massive part of his game. You get the feeling that to get the best from the striker, he has to be 100 per cent right in both body and mind.
“Everybody recognises Sturridge is a great talent, it’s just keeping him on the pitch that has been the issue. And that will, you suspect, always remain the case.”
Rodgers’ position at the helm had come under the spotlight after a four-game winless run in the Premier League, while Liverpool were also taken to penalties by Carlisle United in the League Cup.
But the win at the weekend lifted Liverpool into the top half and eased some of the pressure on Rodgers.