21 Sept 2015

Liverpool legend insists: Rodgers must unleash 'wonderful' £18m star on Wednesday because he still looks 'rusty'

Prior to being rushed back against Norwich City, 'wonderful' Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge had completed less than 10 days of full training, and after such a torrid injury history, starting him twice in four days is simply asking for trouble. That's exactly what Reds legend John Aldridge advocates, though, and he's called on Brendan Rodgers to name Sturridge in the starting line-up for Wednesday's Carling Cup game with Carlisle.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Aldo explained:

"Daniel Sturridge looked understandably rusty on Sunday...which is why I would give him another hour’s football on Wednesday night against Carlisle".

Okay, but what then: start £18m-rated Sturridge again on Saturday, which means he'd play three games in seven days?

In my view, this is an irresponsible idea. Sturridge needs to be treated with kid-gloves, and it's counter-productive to start him on Wednesday:

* Sturridge needs recovery time, and given the fact he's nowhere near full match-fitness (how can he be after FIVE months out?), it'll probably take his injury-ravaged body longer to recovered than the average non-injury prone player.

* Are Liverpool so desperate that a team without Sturridge is incapable of beating Carlisle, who are currently 10th in League Two? If the answer is yes, then the Reds have bigger problems than I thought.

* If the goal is for Sturridge to build match-fitness, a better idea is to bring him for the last 20-30 minutes of the second half.

In my view, there are other players who need the game time more than Sturridge.

* Ings, for example. He scored a good goal against Norwich, and played well overall, so he should definitely start against Carlisle.

* Ings is one of only four Liverpool goalscorers this season, so dropping after scoring will only serve to curtail his momentum at a time when Liverpool need it the most.

* Origi also needs games, and against such comparatively poor opposition, it's an ideal time for the Belgian to start, preferably alongside Ings.

Sturridge doesn't need to start, but knowing Rodgers, that's exactly what will happen on Wednesday.

Author: Jaimie K


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