Former Liverpool star Steve McManaman has claimed that injuries are not the only reason that Daniel Sturridge is struggling for form at Anfield, suggesting that Luis Suarez's exit from the club also had a massive impact on the striker, according to quotes published in the Daily Express.
Sturridge scored 11 goals in 16 matches in his first half season on Merseyside after linking up with Suarez and his teammates in January 2013, and the following season hit 21 in just 29 Premier League appearances as Liverpool almost won the title.
However, Suarez departed the club after that campaign to move to Spanish giants Barcelona, a transfer which almost exactly coincided with the onset of his former strike partner's injury troubles.
Since the Uruguayan's switch, Sturride has been dogged by persistent problems, which ruled him out of five months of last season and have seen him manage just eight appearances in the current campaign.
From those eight appearances the 26-year-old has recorded five goals, but McManaman is adamant that the loss of Suarez alongside him in attack has hit Sturridge as hard as his injury troubles.
The former England winger said, as quoted by the Express: "Sturridge is immensely talent and he’s Liverpool’s best centre-forward so Liverpool need him on the field. His form a couple of years ago was brilliant and it would great to see him back to those levels.
"It’s going to be difficult without Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling next to him because if you’re playing with a partner who occupies the defence as much as Suarez did it gives you more space, but if you’re up there on your own it’s going to be harder.
"Sturridge has got the ability to score lots of goals and cause lots of chaos. You just need him to have a real run of games and stay fit."
Sturridge scored on his first Premier League start after returning from a two-month lay-off in the 6-0 rout of Aston Villa at Villa Park last month, but has failed to find the net in three matches since.
Liverpool are currently ninth in the league table, six points off a guaranteed Europa League spot, albeit with a game in hand.