7 Feb 2014

Big Impact: BR hails £20m duo for 'dramatically' changing LFC. Fluke...?

As I'm sure many fans would agree, the double-signing of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in January 2013 is one of the best pieces of LFC transfer business in years, and for £20m combined, the club got a massive bargain in the process. Sturridge, in particular, continues to be a revelation for the club, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers insists that their arrival heralded the start of Liverpool's upward spiral.

When asked this week about the impact of Sturridge and Coutinho on LFC, Rodgers told Sky Sports:

"It was critical because from that moment of getting those two players [Sturridge and Coutinho], our fortunes have changed dramatically."

"Sturridge came in and gave us that bit of pace and Coutinho came in and gave us that magical touch that I felt could give us another outlet in midfield"

It's still hard to understand how Inter Milan let Coutinho slip away for such a comparative small fee, and at £12m, Sturridge is also well worth the money.

Rodgers is definitely right about the duo transforming Liverpool. In the first 14 games of his reign, Liverpool's league results overall were poor:

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* Failed to win 11 out of 14 league games.
* Pitiful points-per-game (PPG) of 1.14
* Not scoring enough goals.

Things improved dramatically over the next 15 league games, though, with Sturridge and Coutinho playing a major part:

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* Close to 2 PPG, an increase of 0.79 PPG over the first 14 games.
* Massive increase in goals scored.
* Third overall in the form table.
* Top scorers in the league.

Fuelled by the goals/assists of Sturridge and Coutinho, LFC's great form continued until the end of the season, with the club maintaining a PPG average of 1.8:

* Sturridge: 11 goals/2 assists in 16 apps.
* Coutinho: 3 goals/6 assists in 13 apps.
* Total: 14 goals/8 assists.

Sturridge has continued his amazing form this season, but Coutinho's impact has lessened somewhat. Not that it matters (IMO) - the Brazilian is quality through and through, and his confidence will return at some point.

These two signings show that Rodgers can get it right in the transfer market, but when considering his entire transfer record, it increasingly looks like the Sturridge/Coutinho deal was a fluke.

Rodgers did it once though, and hopefully, he can do it again. Starting this summer...



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