Liverpool Transfer News: Daniel Sturridge Not What Reds Need Most

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2012

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - NOVEMBER 14: Daniel Sturridge of England looks dejected after the 3rd goal for Sweden during the international friendly match between Sweden and England at the Friends Arena on November 14, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Daniel Sturridge can't fix Liverpool's biggest problem.

The transfer of Sturridge to Anfield from Chelsea is almost a certainty at this point. The striker has reportedly undergone a physical at Liverpool, with the two clubs agreeing to a £12 million fee (via the Daily Mail).

It's hard to argue that he won't help the Reds. Andy Carroll doesn't seem to have much of a future with the team, so that leaves the club with only two strikers—Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez—who are really at a level that could get Liverpool in the hunt for the Champions League.

In that respect, Sturridge is a welcome addition. It's appropriate, though, to try to temper expectations.

When he's received regular first-team football, it's not like Sturridge has been a prolific striker. He'll be used to Premier League football, but he'll need time to get used to Brendan Rodgers' system.

As good as Sturridge can be, he won't fix the glaring issue in midfield. The Liverpool midfield has been dominant at times, but the same problems—finding the killer ball and turning possession into goals—continue to arise.

Suarez has been world class this season, but he's not getting any help in regard to goalscoring from the midfielders.

Steven Gerrard is second on the team in Premier League goals with three. After that, no midfielder has more than one goal on the year. Strikers are of course supposed to score the majority of goals, but the load needs to be shared more across the club.

Part of the reason for the midfield's lack of attacking firepower could be down to having players out of position. Brendan Rodgers has a wealth of midfielders, but it seems like he hasn't hit the right combination of three players to line up in the middle of the pitch.

Gerrard has been a selection headache. He's started every league game for the club.

He still has something to offer the Reds, but there's no doubt he has also had some very poor performances this year. It might be better if he was slowly phased out, especially when you consider Liverpool's long-term vision and infusion of youth across the entire squad.

Rodgers would be playing with fire, though, by putting such a fan favorite on the bench. Just ask Andre Villas-Boas about that.

Jonjo Shelvey's best position might be sitting in behind the striker, but he's not going to be able to unseat Gerrard.

Getting Lucas back to form will be a huge boost to the squad. If he can get back to the level he was at last year, when he outplayed Yaya Toure, the Brazilian will be an automatic inclusion in every match.

However, that still leaves the central and attacking midfield positions up in the air. You have Shelvey, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Nuri Sahin all fighting for one spot.

Until Rodgers can decide how best to configure his midfield, Liverpool will continue to struggle in the middle of the table.