Five possible Sturridge replacements for Liverpool feat. AC Milan and Valencia stars
Constant injury problems to one of Liverpool’s best players has left The Reds struggling to hit the back of the net this season. Daniel Sturridge has made three Premier League appearances this season of a possible 10, however it only took him 90 minutes against Aston Villa to get his first brace of the season.
His potent ability turns an average Liverpool side into a constant threat, yet with his physical ability comes his mental strength, something which was questioned by Richard Keys recently. Keys stated it may be a little easy for Sturridge to rule himself out of a game. Gerrard has also alluded to Sturridge’s mental state in his autobiography.
Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool fan Phil Thompson has also had his say on Sturridge. Thompson suggested that there are better alternatives out there. Thompson didn’t name any names but did aim towards a type of player that’s at the same technical and clinical level as Sturridge but is fit for much more of the season.
The Boot Room takes a look at five players who could meet Thompson’s demands, starting with an electric French hitman.
Having had a stellar breakthrough season during the 2014/15 campaign where the Frenchman scored 27 league goals in 33 appearances, Lacazette has gone off the boil slightly this year. He’s found the back of the net twice but has missed a hatful of chances, including penalties.
His misfortune in front of goal has dimmed some of the speculation around him, links with Manchester United and Real Madrid were ever-present last year, and after signing a new contract it may seem Lacazette is at Lyon for the long term.
Yet Lyon could be tempted to part ways with him. A poor season from him could lead to his departure, especially as the young man will want to test himself in a more competitive league. Liverpool have the financial capabilities, have the history and potential to attract players like Lacazette. After a Klopp reshape of their current squad, could Sturridge be removed for a fitter, younger striker in Alexander Lacazette? It’s certainly a possibility.
A summer transfer to AC Milan came as quite a shock to many as Bacca had plenty of suitors from across Europe. The Colombian hitman fired Sevilla to the Europa League before moving to Italy where he has also continued his goal-scoring form. Five goals in eight Serie A appearances has done little to take Bacca off the radar and due to Liverpool’s long term interest, a transfer saga next year is not out of the question.
Bacca has the hard-working graft many South Americans possess while is deadly in front of goal. His fitness is also superb having not missed a game for AC Milan. The Europa League winner is AC Milan’s current top scorer with all his goals coming from within the box. Whether it’s a case of Bacca playing alongside Sturridge or him replacing the Englishman, there’s a certainty of goals, provided the chances are created.
At just 22 years old, Paco Alcacer has already staked his claim as Spain’s first choice striker, let alone his club’s. The Valencia man has the awareness and pace of a top class striker, features the differ from fellow countryman Diego Costa.
With eight goals in 10 appearances this season, Alcacer clearly knows how to find the back of the net, something of which Valencia are aware of. The Spaniard would be unlikely to come at a low cost but with nearly a goal a game and with the right players around him, it’s sure to be money well spent.
Alcacer’s potential fee could be covered by the man he replaces with Sturridge being Liverpool’s prize asset, meaning he would be sold at a premium. With less concerns over potential injuries, Alcacer is certainly an upgrade. The Spaniard is capable of leading the line for Liverpool after his huge learning curve with the step up into the national side. Part of Spain’s new generation, Alcacer is certainly to be sniffed at by those associated with Liverpool’s transfer on-goings.
Anwer El Ghazi
A caption of ‘one for the future’ may be applicable along with this analysis. Anwer El Ghazi appears to be following the same trend as many former Eredivise players. The 20 year old has played nine league games this season but has only played a full 90 minutes 44% of the time – much of this may be down to the desire to preserve a young player for the long season to come.
Originally a winger, who has found himself moved more central this year, El Ghazi has already bagged eight goals this season and is rumoured to be on the list of players Jurgen Klopp wants to sign. The youngster is also a creator with 10 key passes this season.
El Ghazi may come as a fair price, similar to that of Memphis’, but he could evolve into the one of many successful players to make the switch from Dutch football to the Premier League. Equally, he could join the list of failures along with the likes of Alfonso Alves and Jozy Altidore.
Could the answer to Liverpool’s prayers be among the ranks already? Having never been given a chance under Rodgers, Klopp has given Origi a starting spot in every game he’s managed so far. The Belgian looks sharp and attuned to Klopp’s way of management and without getting the rub of the green in terms of goals scoring, it’s certain to come.
Origi hit the bar in Klopp’s debut game while having been quiet in the games following, the Belgian’s style is similar to Sturridge’s. He can play of the shoulder or come deep and drive with the ball. The young man is strong as well while yet to suffer from injury this campaign.
His youth is also allowing him to learn. Origi is only 20 yet the goal scoring burden is already upon his shoulders. If, or more likely; when, he learns to cope with the pressure of the Kop, Origi is sure to be a constant goalscorer, especially if he forms a strong rapport with Coutinho during Liverpool’s striker injury crisis. Best still for Klopp, he won’t have to spend a penny meaning funds can be better spent by investing in wingers, a position which Liverpool severally lack depth.
Featured image: all rights reserved by Dean Jones.
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