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It would be a gamble that could make or break his Anfield reign, but Brendan Rodgers is giving serious consideration to moving Luis Suarez to another position to accommodate new signing Daniel Sturridge.
After overhauling his goals tally for last season with another stunning display against Sunderland, it was assumed that Suarez would continue as Liverpool’s lone striker and leave Sturridge hoping for a chance to play on either flank.
Suarez has even been likened to Lionel Messi on current form, yet Rodgers admitted he is ready to install Sturridge as his main striker.
Asked where he would use his £12million signing from Chelsea, the Liverpool boss warned 18-goal Suarez.
‘Daniel’s best position is as a central striker,’ he said. ‘I have said 4-3-3 will become richer because of the type of players we have. There is not just one way to play 4-3-3. You can have one up and two wingers, a floating number nine, like Luis Suarez, or you can have one like Daniel Sturridge central, with two in and around him narrow and full backs bombing on.
‘The principles of your game are based on your players. I think Daniel’s best position will be straight through the middle with his pace.’ Twice, Rodgers was asked where that left Suarez, and twice he answered: ‘For the common good of the team.’ Suarez won’t be left out for Sturridge, but might have to take on a modified role.
‘It is not the case that he might be left out,’ added Rodgers. ‘It is not a problem having top players. We need them.
‘I spoke with Luis about it at length a number of times. This has been planned for a few months. When he played at Ajax, he played in behind as a number 10, in between the lines, and he also played as a reverse winger from the left side. That meant he wasn’t quite out wide, but tucked in round the corner.
‘Wherever he plays, he will make the same movements, and he will find the space, because he is a world-class player.’
After struggling to nail down a place at Manchester City and Chelsea, Sturridge was left in no doubt about the cost of failing.
‘He knows as well as anyone that this could be his last chance at a massive club,’ said Rodgers. ‘He left City at a very young age and went to Chelsea, where Didier Drogba was arguably the best striker in the world. He wasn’t going to climb in front of him, but he did it at Bolton because they played him. He played 13 games and scored eight goals.
‘That got me thinking he has the potential and hunger to do it here. He is a talent, and there will be an opportunity for him. There are not many quicker, so he will give us that extra power up there.
‘You need to look in the player’s eyes and see if they have that hunger. Daniel is coming off the back of being at a big club where he hasn’t played, and he is coming here with everything to prove. As a manager, that is what you want in your group.’ – Daily Mail