For the past few months, all talk surrounding Daniel Sturridge has seemed to be of the negative variety. With Sturridge set to enter the final two years of his contract, the goals not coming, and growing questions about whether his legs have gone there really hasn’t seemed much good to say about the striker’s situation.
A few, though, are still keeping faith in his striking talent. He may not be the perfect fit for Jürgen Klopp’s press, and he may not be able to beat defenders with speed like he used to, but somewhere within Sturridge there still exists a top striker, and a few still believe that top striker will be key to Liverpool’s season.
“Daniel is probably the most gifted striker we have got,” was former striker Ian Rush’s take on Sturridge when he was asked about the Englishman’s future this week. “I was made up he didn’t go in January and I hope he’s still here next year, but you have got to fight for your place—and I think he will fight for his place.”
That fight hasn’t seemed there so far when he’s seen the pitch, but with the entire Liverpool team appearing deflated throughout much of the past two months, it might be unfair that so many are reading so much into Sturridge’s own uninspired performances during the club’s ongoing winter of discontent.
If Liverpool are to salvage their top four hopes—hopes that only two months ago seemed certainty—then they will need to get back on track quickly. They will need to start taking their chances. And on that front, it most certainly wouldn’t hurt if Sturridge were to take a few of his and prove he’s not done just yet as a top striker.
“One thing for certain this year is that we will need Daniel Sturridge, and once he gets that chance he has to take it,” added Rush. “And when he does take it and starts scoring again, I think he’ll play a major part in Liverpool making the top four.”