Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Wednesday February 27 2013
Legendary Reds striker Ian Rush has hailed the ability and impact of recent signing Daniel Sturridge...
New Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge has earned rave reviews since making the move to Anfield and the club's all-time leading goalscorer, Ian Rush, has now voiced his praise for the England international.
Sturridge, who was purchased from Chelsea for £12m in January, has notched a total of five goals in seven appearances to date and recently became the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three appearances for the club.
Ex-Reds striker Rush has clearly been impressed and in an interview with Liverpoolfc.com he describes the 23-year-old as a natural in front of goal.
"He has been absolutely fantastic - just what the supporters have been looking for," commented Rush.
"He's a natural goalscorer. The goal he scored against Manchester City, there was no backlift, it was a fantastic strike.
"Before he came, the opposition focused mainly on Luis Suarez and Stevie [Gerrard] but with Sturridge, there's an added danger. He seems to gel well with Suarez and Stevie.
"He gets the tap ins as well. [In the past] we've had plenty of great shots where the ball has hit the post and come back or the keeper has saved and we've just been looking for someone to come along and tap the ball in. Sturridge does that.
"Also, his first touch is incredible in and around the box. He's very skilful and he's got a bit of pace. He can drift out to wide left, out to wide right and he can play through the middle."
When it comes to hitting the back of the net, Rush certainly knows what he is talking about after tallying 346 goals over two spells with the Merseyside giants.
Fifth on the all-time Liverpool appearances list, the Welshman holds a host of individual scoring records for the club including most goals in a season; 47 in 1983-84.
During his time at Anfield, Rush also formed a number of deadly striking partnerships, most notably with Kenny Dalglish, and in the combination of Sturridge and Luis Suarez he sees another blossoming understanding.
"The key to a successful partnership is both players having a footballing brain because it's all about how you read each other's game," explained Rush.
"You can practise as much as you want on the training pitch but it's about how you link during the game.
"Sturridge will read Suarez and look for a rebound from his shots. If Suarez goes out to the right, then Sturridge can come into the middle or vice versa.
"I'm looking forward to watching their partnership blossom and I hope it will develop into one of those special partnerships but only time will tell.
"It certainly won't happen overnight - they'll have to work with each other in training, day in and day out."
The early signs are certainly positive and the bourgeoning pairing has conjured a combined 10 goals for Brendan Rodgers' side in just seven games.
Praise cannot come from a better placed source, if you are a striker, than the great Ian Rush. His record is second to none and a place amongst the greatest players in Liverpool's history is thoroughly deserved. It is safe to say Sturridge will never reach those heights but he has shown enough already to warrant the current adulation. The ex-Manchester City man is a massive talent and hopefully in Liverpool he has found a club where he can truly settle and showcase his ability over a sustained period. Initial indications are clearly positive and if the understanding with Suarez continues to develop then the prospect for opposing defenders is frightening. Not only can they create openings on their own and for each other, with the addition of Philippe Coutinho to the omnipresent Steven Gerrard and others, the club now seemingly has a number of individuals who can assist the pair with their goalscoring exploits.
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Date:Wednesday February 27 2013
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