Phil Thompson questions logic of Liverpool starting Raheem Sterling as a striker

Raheem Sterling

Reds legend Thompson questions whether Raheem Sterling playing up front for much of the season was the right decision.

Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson has questioned the logic of Brendan Rodgers playing Raheem Sterling as a forward at times this season.

Sterling has played up front on a regular basis in the absence of Daniel Sturridge, being preferred to Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini for a period towards the end of 2014 until Sturridge was fit enough to take his place in the side again.

Thompson told the Sky Sports Morning View programme: "I said at the time Mario Balotelli was worth the risk but as the season has gone on, it hasn’t worked and that has to be changed.

“Rickie Lambert doesn’t seem to have done it, you’ve got Fabio Borini who has been in there. We actually bought a player, Divock Origi, then loaned him back to the club in France.

“Now we are ending up playing with Sterling (up front). Where’s the logic in that?”

  GoalsTotal Scoring AttGoal AssistTotal Att AssistHit WoodworkFinal Third EntriesPen Area EntriesAppearancesMins Played
Raheem Sterling 7 76 7 67 2 94 66 32 2,780
Daniel Sturridge 4 39 1 11 2 19 17 12 750
Rickie Lambert 2 15 0 7 1 27 14 21 620
Mario Balotelli 1 56 0 9 2 33 15 16 940
Fabio Borini 1 14 1 8 0 9 7 12 392

Mario Balotelli has started the last two games for Liverpool, and in both of those fixtures he has been relatively ineffective as the Reds have drawn blanks against West Bromwich Albion and Hull City.

Rickie Lambert has been used sparingly - the only time he was used regularly was when both Sturridge and Balotelli were injured earlier on in the season - while the last time Borini started a game was in January.

Sturridge has started frequently when he has been available, while sometimes being used from the bench, but it seems that Rodgers has looked to try and get players with more pace and movement leading the line.

There were rumours that the Reds were going to recall Origi from Lille after letting him spend the season on loan there as part of a deal to bring him to English football, but that didn't materialise and the Belgian will see out his agreement with the Ligue 1 outfit.

All of this does beg questions of Liverpool's recent signings and their value to the collective cause, especially Balotelli and Lambert who only arrived during the summer and haven't been able to convince that they are deserving of a regular starting berth.

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