It has been a difficult season for Liverpool. Despite an upturn in form after the turn of the year, the Reds are unlikely to finish in the top four for the second year running.
Last season, Liverpool had one of the most feared attacks in world football. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge formed a prolific strike-force that fired them to 101 goals in the league and a second-placed finish.
Fast forward 12 months and the controversial Suarez is long gone whilst Sturridge has barely featured this season, having picked up several injuries which have kept him out of contention.
It means the Reds have managed just 47 goals in the league, with Raheem Sterling taking the top scorer mantle with seven goals.
Contrary to popular belief, Liverpool have defended very well, particularly in the second half of the season, and their major problem has been at the other end of the pitch, in stark contrast to last term.
In Sturridge’s absence, Sterling has been forced to convert to play up front due to summer signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert’s lack of form. The Italian in particular, who was signed for £16million (per the BBC) from AC Milan last summer, has been a major let-down and should be sold on as soon as possible.
Despite the new signings under-performing, it has been the continued absence of Sturridge that has caused the main problems. He has played just 12 times in the league, scoring four times.
Although injuries cannot be helped, Liverpool cannot continue to wait for him to regain full fitness as they risk going even further backwards.
Brendan Rodgers must bring in reinforcements this summer to cater for Sturridge’s unreliability. There is no debating the fact that the 25-year-old is one of the most dangerous strikers in the league when he is fully fit, but his appearances have been all too scarce this campaign.