Setting the Scene
As Liverpool enter a busy summer, thoughts have immediately been diverted towards determining the fates of several current players. Two who each have a toe out the exit door are Daniel Sturridge and Lucas Leiva. The former is equal parts decisive and injury prone. The latter is a physically and technically limited midfielder with excellent leadership. They both have had incredible impacts on the side, however. They have stepped in and settled down their respective positions.
2 Liverpool Players Whose Fate is Unclear
Sturridge’s Decisive Impact
Daniel Sturridge’s goal against West Ham and disruptive play in the last month of the season allowed for a plus-7 goal differential across the last two games of the season. Sadio Mané’s absence due to injury left Sturridge with a chance to return to making an impact, and he certainly did when Divock Origi fell out of form. The chances he created led to the offensive success down the stretch that many Reds’ supporters were worried would not come. Fortunately, the goals were spread out around the squad. Wijnaldum and Lallana, for example, contributed important goals throughout the season. If Sturridge can stay fit, his impact will rise exponentially and the goals will flow.
Lucas’s Quiet Leadership at Liverpool
Lucas Leiva has been a cult hero at Liverpool for almost as long as he has been a Red. In ten years he has become the last Benitez-era player left. Though far from the best player out on the pitch, over ten years he is often captaining the team. His quiet and hard-working nature has been highly regarded by the managers he has played under. Leadership and experience are going to be essential in a fixture packed return to the Champions League, Lucas has those attributes in spades. That cannot be discounted in a young team.
Players will come and go this summer. Sturridge and Lucas must stay at Liverpool FC, as their contributions to the team outweigh their inherent limitation.