Dave Davis lends his voice to the debate over who should be Liverpool’s starting forward.
Jürgen Klopp has a selection headache he’s delighted with. He has two strikers, some similarities but stark differences between them, who he can name as his number 9. The German is renowned for playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with a lone front-man or occasionally a 4-3-3. Either one of these formations leaves you with one striker which boils down to a simple question for fans: Are you a Sturridge or Origi man?
The easiest answer is to utilise them both in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, but that has never been Klopp’s style bar the odd game. Every manager has a main man up top in the modern game and there is a feeling that Klopp’s is Origi. The Belgian was derided at his former club Lille, before he arrived for a £10 million fee. It was towards the end of last season where the 21 year-old really stepped up again with performances against Dortmund home and away announcing him to a wider audience. The biggest disappointment for many at Anfield was his injury in the Merseyside derby as Origi appeared unstoppable at the time and it leaves that twinge of disappointment when thinking what could have been against Sevilla.
Klopp confirmed “we would have fun with this player” and a finish to the campaign which saw him bag 10 goals did little to dispel that excitement. 7 pounds of muscle added to his frame and a fantastic finish against AC Milan to boot, some Reds are tipping Origi to be the main man from now on. Origi maybe brings the willingness to run the channels and play a pressing game which Sturridge hasn’t got.
This doesn’t mean a player with Sturridge’ qualities should be named a no.2 immediately. Bar Coutinho, Sturridge maybe the only other player at Anfield we can call genuinely world-class on his day. The ex-Chelsea man’s record for Liverpool to date is incredible with 53 goals in 92 appearances. After numerous spells on the side-lines, there was always a fear that Sturridge could be finished at the top level but 13 goals last season saw him end the campaign as Liverpool’s top scorer. Not bad going for a player who missed half the season.
Klopp has been clear that Sturridge’s fitness is carefully monitored and the manager was frank last season in the requirements the Birmingham-born forward had to meet. Sturridge himself confirmed it’s the most intense pre-season programme he’s ever been through, so it will be interesting to see how his body stands up to the rigours. It doesn’t hurt when the manager’s doing your trademark dance though, eh? Sturridge maybe has that bit of finesse and penalty box ability which Origi hasn’t got – yet.
Danny Ings may no doubt have something to say about all this, but you have to believe a main man will emerge in this scenario. You can’t even say the smart money is anywhere as Sturridge has a history of breaking down and Origi is young, so fans will have to be patient with him. As long as they both get goals – let the battle commence.