Daniel Sturridge scores goals. It's immutable fact to every Liverpool fan, and it's the main reason -- aside from the fact that he seems like a stand up guy -- that they've put so much faith in him, despite his multiple injury lay-offs. When Sturridge returns to the team, even if it's for only a couple of games before a new injury strikes, he always adds to Liverpool's goal tally.
He has, in fact, scored 53 goals in his 92 games with the club. That's greater than a 1:2 goal to game ratio, an impressive statistic while playing at the highest level of football. But like any top class player, Sturridge thinks he can keep improving.
When asked by the official website whether that goal ratio can be maintained, the 26-year-old England striker responded, "I think it will be better. It’s important that I continue to focus myself, and with my teammates and the new players we’ve signed at the club it’s possible to improve it. As long as you have service as a striker, you’ll be able to score goals because you have chances. As long as I get chances in games I’m sure I’ll score."
Sturridge has never been short on confidence, and for good reason. He's a natural finisher with fast feet and killer instincts, who can somehow get the ball into the net at even the most difficult of angles. This season, he'll be aided in the attack by returning favorites Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, and Philippe Coutinho, as well as new additions Sadio Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum, the former Newcastle man who will make his Liverpool debut on Saturday in the pre-season match against AC Milan.
According to Klopp, the purpose of the pre-season is to bring all of these new players into the fold so that they can begin contributing and improving the team. When asked about it, Sturridge concurred with his manager:
"That’s what the off-season is about – the club trying to improve and trying to take the team to the next level, trying to allow us to be successful and put us in the right place to allow us to challenge for titles and challenge for cups season in, season out.
"The manager has signed players who he believes will help us do that and now it’s about us gelling as a team and the chemistry being right, which I’m sure it will be.
"Going from there, it’s about going on the pitch and implementing the tactics the boss wants us to do. As long as we do that and marry everything together, it should be a successful one for us.
"It’s about being successful, it’s about being a winner, it’s about setting yourself targets and beating your targets.
"I think it’s possible to have a great season and score goals.
"But not just for myself, everyone has got to step up and do their job as well – players getting assists and the defence keeping clean sheets. As the manager always emphasises, it’s a team game.
"It’s important that everybody does their job and if everyone does their job then we’ll be successful."
About the two new boys specifically, Sturridge had nothing but compliments for the two players that he's had plenty of experience playing against in the Premier League. He explained that the strengths he's seen in Mané and Wijnaldum will be a good fit.
"They come here and bring things we may not have had," Sturridge explains.
"Mane has got a lot of speed on the wings; we did have that before but he’s a different kind of player. He has got goals in him as well.
"And the same with Wijnaldum – he is someone who can provide chances for players and score goals.
"Not just those two, there are other players we have signed and I’m sure it will be a big season for them. These two players have obviously played in the Premier League and got the experience, so there’s no need for a bedding-in period with them, it’s more a case of going out there and performing.
"For some of the other players it might take time and the expectation level at Liverpool is so big that everyone has to perform when they arrive.
"For me, I’m looking forward to the season and I think the signings we have had will help us push onto the next level."
With any luck, Sturridge will enjoy a long run of health this season and get a chance to help Liverpool in their push for the top four.