Rodgers tips Sturridge to reach "another level" in Suarez absence

Brendan Rodgers 2

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects Daniel Sturridge to take over as the club's talisman this season in the wake of Luis Suarez's exit.

Sturridge finished second to his teammate in the Premier League's scoring charts last term, with the England international netting 21 goals to the Uruguayan's 31.

The 24-year-old led the line in the first few weeks of last season, as Suarez sat out the remainder of his suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic back in April 2013, and Sturridge flourished as he scored three times in consecutive 1-0 wins against Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United.

Rodgers has so far spent around £14 million on boosting his forward options in the shape of Divock Origi and Rickie Lambert this summer, although the former will spend the coming campaign on loan with Lille.

And following Suarez's £75 million switch to Barcelona, the Northern Irishman has backed Sturridge to thrive with the added responsibility placed on him.

He told reporters in the United States: "I think you'll see Daniel go on another level again this season, with the confidence of a full campaign last year and scoring the goals he did. Hopefully he can stay injury free this season."

"We've [also] got Rickie Lambert who will get goals for us. He's starting to really get comfortable with the group. We've got a number of players that go and facilitate the role [of goalscoring]."

"I looked at the combination of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert in training today and they were exceptional; the link-up play and some of their combination play was great."

Club legend Jamie Carragher is of a similar belief to his former manager, and the legendary ex-centre-back thinks Sturridge can go on to become one of the finest marksmen in Europe.

“Look at his record: I think I’m right in saying he’s got more goals after 50 games than any Liverpool player ever," he told the Anfield Wrap.

"If you look at the strikers Liverpool have had that’s an unbelievable achievement… He could be the best striker in the league."

The Reds missed out on adding Loic Remy to their ranks after they pulled the plug on his proposed £8.5 million move from Queens Park Rangers, with reports circulating that the France international had failed a medical.

Liverpool continue their pre-season preparations with a clash against Premier League title rivals Manchester City at around 12am (BST).

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