THE transfer window is finally here. Relief for some of us who believe something good may yet be borne of this campaign or a chance for Brendan Rodgers to sign his own dismissal letter for those who believe otherwise. Despite these varying viewpoints however, there is no denying that this window is expected to be an active one for Liverpool FC. There are quite a number of holes to plug and the issue of sheer numbers is one that must be addressed.
Indisputably, the greatest concern during this window will be our attack and striking options. It’s therefore no wonder that we have been linked with quite a number of forwards prior to the window, the most echoing of these being Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge with whispers of terms already being agreed floating in the media. Him being very befitting of the youthful profile and outlook Rodgers and FSG more so are looking to create and uphold helped play up the initial speculation of what now more than not seems a done deal.
Sturridge in my eyes has got the potential to become a key player for any team. His versatility in forward roles is certainly a feather in his cap and his age means he still has room to improve under the right guidance. An impressive turnover of 11 goals from 28 league starts for Chelsea last season proves he will be in amongst the goals and his confidence is shown in the audacity of some of his long range efforts.
However, all these positives are sometimes overshadowed by his biggest flaw: Individuality.
Sturridge has yet to become a team player. It’s no secret that he likes to be and is good on the ball but he would be so much better if he brought others into play more often. His 85.9% pass completion rate in the EPL clearly indicates that he is a great passer of the ball, he just doesn’t do it as much as you’d expect. This is where guidance must come in.
I am of the view that Rodgers will be looking to play him and Suarez, both with their exceptional dribbling ability and versatility, either side of a central marksman (that could be Borini if he finds his scoring boots when he returns from injury), to provide a more robust threat on the attacking flanks of his favoured 4-3-3.
For this to succeed however, it is imperative that Sturridge becomes less of a one-man team. I am not saying that he should be discouraged from going all the way or trying his long-rangers; that would be taking away his game-changing potential. What I am saying is that he should be taught the composure to weigh the options available before making a decision on the pitch; to pass when there are team-mates in acres of space and to go it alone when he’s the furthest player forward and only two defenders away from a one-on-one situation, which truly is the mark of a world class forward.
Whether or not he will be a good addition all lies in the hands of his management and as one of Rodgers’ signings, I’m sure he (Rodgers) will work fervently to incorporate him into his system that is still under the battering-ram scrutiny of the Kop, something he’ll be hoping the likes of Sturridge can help him turn around.