Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez share exactly the same objective when they step onto the soccer field, but their methods of succeeding in their ambitions are rather different according to the manager.
Brendan Rodgers has molded the attacking pair into an electrifying combination since the latter returned from suspension, with the duo firing five goals between them in the last three games.
The Northern Irishman has not hidden his admiration for the two forwards in recent weeks, and now he has revealed the specific attributes which are allowing the duo — nicknamed “SAS” — to thrive.
“Their qualities are different. If you look at Luis, he’s a great box player,” Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com. “He’s got wonderful feet in and around the box, he can make things happen out of nothing, he always has defenders on the back foot because of his trickery, and he can finish left foot or right foot.
“So he will always ask defenders questions, especially in and around the box where they have maybe got to dive in a bit more.
“Daniel is a different type altogether. He’s got all-round great qualities. He’s got a great touch, is very strong on his left side and his right side, he’s got super pace — once he’s away, he’s away, you’re not catching him.
“He’s clever in his movement and his runs. He’s a good footballer. He drops into spaces, picks up the ball, sets the game, spins. He’s also got an eye for goal.
“The area that he’s looking to improve on is his heading, as he showed last week away at Sunderland. He’s a boy who I still think there’s a lot of improvement to make. When he does, I think he can prove to be one of the top strikers in European football.”
Sturridge’s form during 2013-14 to date — the No. 15 has struck eight goals in all competitions so far — is all the more remarkable given that he missed the majority of preseason with an ankle injury.
The England international has pledged that he will improve even further when he reaches 100 percent fitness, and the boss fully agreed with that analysis.
“He’s right because he literally only joined in the last week or so of preseason,” Rodgers added. “To have missed out on preseason, just come back with 10 days to go and play how he has done so far without a lot of rest has been remarkable.
“For him, it’s just about maintaining that consistency — he knows that and that’s from the training field. He’s working hard in training, working hard in the games and getting his reward. When he gets up to real fitness in a few games’ time, he will become even better.”