By scoring his 7th goals of the season for Liverpool, Daniel Sturridge has beaten a long list of fantastic strikers who have suited up for the club by reaching 20 scores for the team since joining the faster than anyone else, proving just how prolific he is, and can be in the promising future.
Sturridge might not even be the best forward Liverpool have; that honor is reserved to Luis Suarez, who did give Sturridge a head start when it comes to scoring after a suspension that kept him out of the first few matches this season. However, Suarez has already scored 3 goals, and the combination between the two is instrumental to Liverpool’s success, especially when considering how weak their midfield is when compared to the other title contenders, who Liverpool can still be counted as.
So who did Sturridge leave behind?
- Fernando Torres, needing 31 matches to score 20 goals for Liverpool. He ended up with 81 goals in 142 matches.
- Roger Hunt, Ian Rush and John Aldridge all needed 34 matches to make it to 20 goals. Hunt scored 286 goals in 492 matches; Rush scored 346 goals in 660 matches; Aldridge finished with 63 goals in 104 matches.
- Robbie Fowler needed 36 matches, finishing his Liverpool career with 183 goals in 369 matches.
- Michael Owen took 38 matches, ending up with 158 goals in 297 matches for the club.
- Ian St. John needed 39 matches, scoring 95 goals in 336 matches for the team.
At the current pace, Sturridge will also break Fernando Torres’ record of reaching 50 goals in 84 matches for the club. Theoretically, with this pace of 0.77 goals per match, Sturridge should make it there after passing the 65 appearances for the club, but in all fairness, it’s quite unlikely that he’ll continue to score at this rate. Luis Suarez needed 91 matches for Liverpool to reach that 50 mark, but the last 14 months have been extremely successful, scoring 33 goals in 47 matches.
The interesting blend of Suarez and Sturridge is that both of them aren’t “real” 9’s. Suarez is hard to define, but he can play almost anywhere as a forward, from the wing to behind the striker and as a target man. Sturridge, like Suarez, never likes to stay too much in one place and tends to drift out wide, only he lacks the passing and dribbling ability that Suarez possesses, but few strikers in the world are like the Uruguayan.
Will Sturridge break Torres’ record? Not unlikely, especially if he continues playing in the lineup week in and week out. The arrival of Iago Aspas meant that Rodgers was thinking of changing some things in his lineup, but the disappointing start to the Spaniard’s career at Anfield and Sturridge’s excellent start to the season without Suarez next to him made it quite clear that he should be a permanent fixture in the lineup.
However, despite having what might be the best striking duo in the Premier League while Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie find themselves on a sinking ship, without some drastic improvement in the midfield, especially when it comes to creativity, all the numbers Sturridge produces won’t mean titles, or even a spot in the Champions League.