Daniel Sturridge return key for Liverpool and Luis Suarez

The striker has missed most of Liverpool’s pre-season through injury, can Daniel Sturridge prove he is ready for the start of the season against Celtic this weekend?

The ongoing saga surrounding Luis Suarez’ future at Liverpool, and indeed the antics which led to the Uruguayan receiving a ten match ban near the end of last season, have somewhat overshadowed the excellent start to life that Daniel Sturridge made at Anfield.

The 23-year-old scored ten times in fourteen matches in the Premier League for Liverpool, and finished the season as the player with the second best minutes per goal ratio in the division behind Javier Hernandez.

Finding a replacement for Luis Suarez if he leaves will be nigh on impossible, and Liverpool could choose to trust Sturridge as their leading striker next season instead.

However having missed so much of pre-season, the England international has had no opportunity to demonstrate why Liverpool can trust him as first choice, and that is why the weekend’s match with Celtic could prove pivotal for the club this summer.

Liverpool travel to Dublin to play Celtic on Saturday, with Sturridge expected to play at least 45 minutes as he attempts to prove his readiness for the season opener against Stoke on the 17th August.

If he shows that he will be able to maintain his sparkling form from the end of last season then not only will Liverpool breathe a little easier about their strike force for the match against Stoke, when Suarez is banned anyway, they might consider changing their stance on a £40+million bid for the Uruguayan.

Having a replacement for Suarez already at the club will take away the fear that they will not be able to find a new striker if he leaves, and although John Henry and Brendan Rodgers have made it clear they will not sell the 26-year-old to Premier League rivals Arsenal, they might be prepared to listen to a huge offer from Real Madrid if Sturridge proves his worth at the start of the season.

This is set to be a huge season for Daniel Sturridge, and if he could impress in his first match back from injury then Liverpool’s fans and owners will be far more positive about the start of the Premier League with or without Luis Suarez.

image: © kuaver

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