Identifying Daniel Sturridge's Area of Improvement at Liverpool
Eight of those goals have come just this season in eight appearances in all competitions after a summer on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
But Sturridge is only 24 years old and is now, given the support and confidence of Brendan Rodgers, taking full of advantage of his time to shine.
Right now he is emerging as one of the best and most exciting strikers in the Premier League. Certainly, he is much more talked about than the likes of fellow England forwards Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney.
However, any good football manager wouldn’t sit happy with Sturridge’s football though—and neither should Sturridge himself.
Whilst Sturridge is a man who appears at the top of his game, the next level he needs to reach is becoming a consistent world-class talent. And that means scoring past the best, all of the time.
A difficult feat to prove when Liverpool aren’t in any European competition this season, never mind the Champions League.
Yet the Reds’ absence from the Europa League may well turn out to be to Sturridge’s advantage, allowing a less fixture-intensive season schedule and helping him improve his game some more.
So that’s just one with the head against Manchester United (which, let’s face it, was more of a reaction to get a body part on the ball and divert Daniel Agger’s forward header), a cheeky handball against Sunderland that shouldn’t have stood and four goals with his lethal left foot.
No goals with his right.
Does a world-class striker need to be able to score with two feet? Well that would depend on his game. If he’s putting away every chance with his left foot, then there’s surely no problem.
Mind you, he’s leagues ahead of the likes of Robin van Persie (44 percent), the league’s second-highest goalscorer Loic Remy (57 percent), Fernando Torres (50 percent) and Olivier Giroud (42 percent).
But this article isn’t about them, and if Sturridge can start firing in the shots he’s missing, he’ll be taking greater steps towards earning the “world-class” tag.
This piece isn’t to begrudge Sturridge of anything he’s done this season. There are plenty of aspects of his game where it would be hard to challenge any footballer to improve.
In his last match against Crystal Palace, Sturridge completed 24 of 29 passes, won two out of three "take-ons" against the visitors’ defenders and kept his positioning solid, with over 50 percent of his action areas in the final third of the pitch.
Yet his goal attempts showed success in only one in five attempts.
That could be a question of whether he's trying an attempt on goal when it would be much more effective to play it to a teammate. His assists, awareness of teammate's positions and overall football intelligence would therefore be under the spotlight.
However it comes, start putting those chances away when in those dangerous positions—left foot, right foot, via Suarez, however it needs to go in—and Liverpool will have a world-class striker on their hands.
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