'There will be no excuses for him': Steven Gerrard lays down the gauntlet for Daniel Sturridge
England striker completed his £12m move from Chelsea yesterday
Thursday 03 January 2013
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists there can be no excuses from new signing Daniel Sturridge after his £12million arrival at Anfield.
The 23-year-old is already on his third major club, having left Manchester City to join Chelsea but flourished at neither, and that has raised questions about everything from his quality to his temperament.
Sturridge is likely to get more of a chance under Brendan Rodgers than he had at his previous employer but Gerrard said, at some point, the player had to realise his situation and turn potential into regular goals.
"Daniel has the quality. I know he's got it - I've seen it," said the England captain.
"He's suffered a bit at Manchester City and moved on to Chelsea where he hasn't played as much as he wanted but has shown flashes of brilliance.
"I think he's at the age now when he needs to settle down, get a settled club and show consistently what qualities he's got.
"If he can start producing that for us on a weekly basis he can help this club move forward to where we want to be.
"He has said he wants to play football for a big club, the stage is set for him.
"There will be no excuses for him. He will be playing with good players at a great club.
"It's all there for him. He just has to go and grasp it with both hands.
"He's at an age now where he should be performing week in week out."
Sturridge is likely to be Rodgers' main signing of the January window and has been brought in to offer support to leading scorer Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay international's hot run of form shows no signs of abating as two goals in last night's 3-0 win over Sunderland took him to 15 in the Premier League so far.
But with fellow forward Fabio Borini edging closer to a first-team return Gerrard believes the addition of Sturridge also will improve their hopes of a top-four challenge.
"Daniel's arrival will help the club. He's got power, pace, strength - he has got huge potential," added the midfielder.
"He's another attacking option and if you look at the bigger picture from the beginning of the season up until now, we have been a little bit short in the final third.
"He will add more strength in depth for us and let's hope he's not the last face in January because we certainly need a couple more in."
Suarez lit up Anfield with his two goals, after 18-year-old Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring, and Gerrard admits his team-mate is one of the best around at the moment as he trails Manchester United's Robin van Persie (16) by one in the Premier League top scorers chart.
"He's just world class. There are a handful of players in the world who operate on a different level and he is one of them," he said.
"He can score all types of goals. I was looking in the programme at his goal record: for someone who the critics say doesn't score enough, just have a look at his record (Suarez has scored 31 in 64 league games)."
Gerrard's views were echoed by Jim Cassell, who was head of Manchester City's academy during Sturridge's time there.
"Hopefully Liverpool will get the best from Daniel as he has the potential to be a top-class international striker," Cassell told BBC Sport.
"Daniel was exceptional, even as a 13-year-old. He had great pace, fantastic feet and magnificent vision. I couldn't speak too highly of him when he was with us.
"He trained hard, was respectful and always immaculately turned out - I thought he was great. We knew he could go on and achieve great things."
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