Liverpool supporters have been pretty deflated in the Transfer Tavern in the last few hours after seeing their side go down 1-0 to the Premier League’s bottom side Swansea City on Monday night, thus seeing their excellent 18-match unbeaten run come to a disappointing end.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash in South Wales off the back of beating runaway leaders Manchester City in their last league outing, and as such would have viewed a trip to the division’s basement side as an opportunity to build upon that win. However, the Reds produced a lacklustre display and were deservedly beaten thanks to Alfie Mawson’s excellent strike just before half time, in turn sealing a massive victory for Carlos Carvalhal’s men, while at the same time denting Liverpool’s top four aspirations.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can bounce back quickly when they face West Brom in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking Daniel Sturridge with a move away this month, with the likes of Inter Milan reportedly interested in the striker.
However, based on their efforts on Monday night at the Liberty Stadium, Klopp seriously has to consider keeping the 28-year-old beyond next Wednesday’s deadline, as it was evident that his side missed that out-and-out striker against the Swans.
Clearly, the Reds were completely bereft of ideas against Carvalhal’s side on Monday, often resorting to long-range and ultimately hopeful efforts from the edge of the box, some of which from their centre-backs.
And while Roberto Firmino has been in excellent form for the club so far this season, his late miss, in which he crashed a header against the post from a few yards out, perhaps underlines his limitations as a number nine – limitations not shared by England international Sturridge.
The 28-year-old would have been the ideal man to bring off the bench or possibly start against the struggling Swans on Monday night, his predatory instincts and clever runs off the shoulder of the last defender could well have opened up space in the final third – he also probably wouldn’t have missed that Firmino chance.
And tests like this will come round again and again for Liverpool this season. They demonstrated their incredible attacking qualities against City last weekend, but when teams defend in numbers and are asked to be broken down, Liverpool have got to find a way, and having someone like Sturridge in the squad can help them with that.
And were Firmino, who has missed just one Premier League this season so far, to get injured, being left with just Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings, the former not a proven goal-scorer at this level and latter having not played much in the last few years, is going to leave the Reds hugely short were Sturridge to leave.
Quite simply, the Reds proved on Monday night that they need other options and other ways of going about games – Sturridge gives them that.
And their defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Monday underlines exactly why they should persevere with the £18 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) for the rest of the season.
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