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Daniel Sturridge needs to be the main man to thrive

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring their second goal

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge's brace as a central striker against Tottenham proves that he needs to be the main man in order to play at his very best.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring their second goal

Daniel Sturridge scored twice against Tottenham in the EFL Cup to send Liverpool through to the quarter-finals of the competition, and his performance showed that he must play as a centre-forward in order to get the best out of him. 

But it is a little more complex than just positioning. Sturridge needs to be the main man and the main attacking threat if he is to thrive at a club. He wasn't at Chelsea, for example, so he left.

It is true that Sturridge's best Liverpool performances came alongside Luis Suarez, where the Uruguayan was undoubtedly the main man of the pair. 

However, such was Suarez's infectious quality that he brought out the best in Sturridge, and while the Englishman was not the senior of the two players, he was part of an attacking duo in the form of the 'SAS' that was looked up to by the rest of the squad. He was one of the main men.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring their second goal

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool has a somewhat different feel to it. It isn't about two or three star forwards, while the rest play a supporting role - it's about a team attacking and defending together, sharing responsibility.

It is a system that does not suit Sturridge.

On the night against Spurs. Sturridge was certainly Liverpool's main man, and he delivered. In a line-up comprised of fringe players and youngsters, the former Chelsea and Manchester City striker was the big name on the pitch. 10 goals in his last eight League Cup matches show that when he is the central figure (as he is likely to have been in the vast majority of those fixtures), he scores goals.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores their second goal

But even if his two-goal haul is enough to earn him a starting spot at Liverpool, he would have to play consistently out of his skin to be considered the best player and main man in the side. Roberto Firmino has performed well as a false-9, and Philippe Coutinho is a gem of a player.

Additionally, he does not do the running. The high-intensity pressing system utilised by Klopp is not Sturridge's natural game, and while he will work hard to fashion chances for himself, he is not particularly inclined to close players down for 90 minutes.

In his league showings, he has looked a little disjointed and out-of-place in the side, and that has been reflected in his lack of a league goal this season. 

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge's performance against Spurs highlighted his strengths, and despite his obvious quality, they don't tally up with the strengths required to be a centre-forward in Klopp's system.

Unless he has a drastic change in his attitude or in his form in front of goal in the league, Sturridge may be best off at a club where he will be made the main man, in a system that suits him more. Klopp will not want to let go of a talented striker, but it may be in the Englishman's best interests to find a team that needs him more than Liverpool does right now. 

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