Graeme Souness feels Liverpool must look to sign a new striker as they simply “can no longer rely” on perennial-injury victim Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge, who has played in only 17 Premier League games during the past two seasons, has featured just three times under Jurgen Klopp’s management and has yet to pull on a Reds shirt since December 6 due to a niggling hamstring injury.
Souness, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, says that it has reached the point where he simply cannot be a part of Klopp’s main plan. “Without being too cruel, you just can’t rely on him,” Souness says. “His history would tell you that he misses too many games.
“When he is on the pitch, he is star quality but he doesn’t play. If he plays it is a bonus instead of someone who is first name on the team sheet. That’s a shame for the boy but that is a fact.
“You go and buy other players who will be fit for most of the games you play,” he added. “He’s not Plan A. He’s the bonus plan.”
The wider point about how Liverpool’s squad has been diluted not just by Sturridge’s injuries but the departures of Luis Suárez, Raheem Sterling and Gerrard is obvious. “You don’t need to ask that,” he says.
“I said at the start of the season that, for Liverpool to get into the top four, [Christian] Benteke has to get 20 plus goals. That ain’t going to happen. They haven’t got a free-scoring midfielder and, on top of that, they leak goals.”
Souness on Gerrard
Souness also feels Liverpool have missed the influence of Steven Gerrard this season and claims the player left Anfield a year too soon.
“I think Steven went a year too early,” he added. “He could still change games with one pass, with one goal, take penalties at important times. I’m a great believer that you will never have a successful football club unless you have good senior pros, down to simple things like timekeeping. I would have fought tooth and nail, fallen out of the board, to keep him.”