Since recovering from his lengthy spell on the side-lines, and scoring a characteristically well taken finish on his much awaited return to Premier League football, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have once again been enjoying the spoils of one Daniel Sturridge.
The England international couldn’t have timed his re-emergence back in the action any sooner, as the Anfield faithful have been in particular need of a hotly anticipated savour to come and change their fortunes. The likes of Ricky Lambert, Fabio Borini and of course the ever enigmatic Mario Balotelli, have simply failed to do the business for the Reds up-top this season, and despite being one of the clear front runners in last year’s exciting campaign, 2014/15 has ultimately been a different story for Liverpool.
As life without Luis Suarez has been difficult for the Reds to handle so far, can Daniel Sturridge’s return spark a sign of better things to come for Brendan Rodgers’ side, or is it simply too late for the Anfield faithful to feel any meaningful excitement in the remainder of the season?
Although much has been made out of Liverpool’s seeming inability to cope without their former Uruguayan star forward on board, the cruelly timed injury to Daniel Sturridge at the beginning of the season was perhaps a bigger disaster for the Reds, and their campaign to finally get their hands on a Premier League title. They made a great deal of profit from the Suarez sale, and although transfer activity at Anfield certainly raised a few eyebrows this summer, the majority of players brought in over the window will likely have a very promising impact on the team once they settle in to their new surroundings.
Without Daniel Sturridge however, Liverpool were somewhat relying solely upon Raheem Sterling, a 20-year-old talent who certainly has a great future ahead of him, but a player nonetheless lacking in top-flight experience and gamesmanship. Without their no. 15 up-top, the Reds looked slow, predictable, and somewhat lacking in creative ideas. It was simply a shadow of the side that were just so formidable last season.
Now though, with Daniel Sturridge back in full contention, Liverpool fans can reacquaint themselves with the off-ball running that their forward line used to enjoy last season, as well as a great deal more movement and through-balls available to their midfield. The former Manchester City and Chelsea talent has seemingly found himself with Liverpool, looking promising with the ball at his feet, equally as effective when giving his teammates the right options, as well as becoming an undisputed goal threat in the final third.
With Sturridge now leading the line for Rodgers, his side can play with a lot more confidence than they have been showing so far this campaign. That said, a great deal of the season has already passed, and as Liverpool have simply failed to match the lofty expectations that they as a club set last season, the England striker doesn’t have much time to make a meaningful difference in 2014/15.
Although his return may have come too late for Liverpool and their dreams of title success this season, Daniel Sturridge will nevertheless reinstall the belief, morale and positive thinking that saw the Reds do so well before his injury. Next term then, after the Anfield fan-favourite has had a full pre-season under his belt, could be the perfect time for Daniel Sturridge to re-stake his claim, and for Liverpool to finally become the team that their fans know they are capable of being.
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