Liverpool struggled without Daniel Sturridge more than they were hampered after the loss of Luis Suarez according to former goalkeeper David James.
The club once again finished outside the top four places – after a season in which they had secured runners-up spot – and much of it was down to the lack of goals. After having come close to breaking the Premier League scoring record in a campaign, Liverpool managed just over the goal per game last season. Summer signing Mario Balotelli returned just one league goal from his exploits throughout the campaign.
Sturridge had been a key player for the club since his £ 12 million transfer from Chelsea. However, he was unable to create much impact on the pitch since he played only a handful of games to the campaign. Sturridge went from one injury to another through a miserable campaign and James reckons that this was a key reason behind the poor form. James has recalled that Suarez may have scored a lot of goals during the season in which Liverpool finished second, but it was Sturridge who came up with the important ones. The England international only finished a handful of goals behind Suarez in the race for the Golden Boot award.
“The key player for Liverpool was Daniel Sturridge. He scored more vital goals than Luis Suarez.Most of Suarez's goals were scored in 2-0 or 3-0 wins when only the first goal mattered.Sturridge scoring in a 1-0 win was more important than Suarez scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory.Having Sturridge injured for so long in the season was more detrimental than losing Suarez,” said James. Liverpool have already added to their forward line up by signing Burnley forward Danny Ings on a free transfer. This could see the departure of Ricki Lambert.