Rodgers: 'Brilliant' striker will become one of Europe's best

Liverpool have a player in their ranks who will develop into one of the top strikers.

Goal-getter Daniel Sturridge could not have hoped for a better start to his Liverpool career than the one he began in January, earlier this year.

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When the Englishman converted strike-partner Luis Suarez's cross at Newcastle United last weekend he brought his total haul of Reds goals to 20 in just 26 appearances, the fastest any post-war Liverpool player has reached that milestone and, in do doing, he surpasses legendary and iconic figures such as Fernando Torres (20 goals in 31 games), Ian Rush (20 in 34 games), Robbie Fowler (20 in 36), Michael Owen (20 in 38) and Kenny Dalgish (20 in 45). 

Manager Brendan Rodgers, who ratified the £12m deal that brought Sturridge to Anfield from erstwhile employers Chelsea, told the club's official website: 'He has been brilliant. He came here in January and had a point to prove and his goals to games ratio since coming here has been remarkable.'

It is not just his goals:games ratio that is elite, but his overall contributions. In 718 minutes of Premier League football to date, the hitman has created seven chances (two of which turned into direct assists), has hit the target 58% of the time with his 24 attempts and has scored seven goals.

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That's an efficiency rate (goals + assists / minutes played) of one per 79 minutes, placing him just behind the division's most efficient attackers such as Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (one per 62 mins), Everton's Romelu Lukaku (one per 65 mins) and Newcastle United's Loic Remy (one per 70 mins), but ahead of Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (one per 85 mins) and Manchester United's Robin van Persie (one per 139 mins).

While Sturridge is currently one of the most decisive strikers in the country, Rodgers believes it will not be long before he develops a reputation as one of the continent's most feared hitmen: 'When he is given the opportunity, he produces. He's a natural goalscorer but he's got so many other things to his game - his pace, his power, he's got great feet.

'I genuinely think, in the next couple of years, he'll show he can be one of the top strikers in Europe.'

image: © Ben Sutherland

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