When it's not busy being interrupted by injury, the Liverpool career of Daniel Sturridge has been a remarkable success. Written off as selfish and egotistical by those with a superficial understanding of the player (present company included) Sturridge remade himself as an enjoyable, effective frontman under Brendan Rodgers, endearing himself to Liverpool supporters with a ridiculous strike rate and a personality to match. In short, he's been a revelation, and his time on Merseyside to date should be viewed as a resounding success.
Only those interruptions due to injury have steadily chipped away at what's otherwise a world-class resume, and his latest injury seems to have tipped the balance toward the idea that, regardless of how likable a player he is while fit, he's not someone the club can be built around. That's the uncomfortable reality on the heels of the club's confirmation that he'll be out until the new year, and it's rightfully given way to discussion about how the club can start to address his absence, both temporarily and permanently.
Even before news of the latest setback emerged there was talk of an emergency recall for Divock Origi, and news of Sturridge's injury has accelerated talk of a deal to bring the 19-year-old to Liverpool sooner than expected. Late last night the Liverpool Echo reported that the club would be willing to to do "whatever it takes" to get Origi in, with talk that they could be paying in the region of £3m to do so.
The biggest point of contention remains whether or not such a move would be beneficial for the player's longer-term development; he's clearly talented and capable of making an impact on the world stage for years to come, but right now it's questionable--and probably very unlikely--that he's the one to solve Liverpool's problems immediately. And if Sturridge's injury somehow ends up as his last for the season, unlikely as that might be, the Belgium striker's minutes would be limited to the point that a recall could be viewed as detrimental to his development.
What Liverpool are left with is essentially a no-win situation. They pay a few milion extra to bring in a player they already own, roll the dice on an injury-prone striker and a collective of back-ups who have yet to score a single Premier League goal between them, or go the type of striker many argue they should have pursued during the summer.
It's increasingly looking as though the third option is the most preferable unless things change rapidly regarding Sturridge's fitness or the ability of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, and Fabio Borini to score goals. Brendan Rodgers' willingness to change personnel and formations remains an issue as well, but it's clear that Liverpool need someone to start to score goals with some sort of regularity after essentially losing both of last season's top two goalscorers.
Paying extra for Origi probably isn't the answer, but Liverpool appear to have few solutions available, and at this point they're going to need all the help they can get to remain in the conversation for the top four prior to the new year, let alone after the point at which they might be able to bring Origi or anyone else in to provide support in attack.