• Premier League

Rodgers warns Sturridge he has to deliver

ESPN staff
January 3, 2013
Daniel Sturridge was at Anfield on Wednesday night to see Liverpool win © Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned his new signing Daniel Sturridge that he is is already in the last-chance saloon as far as top clubs are concerned.

Sturridge, 23, became Rodgers' first capture in January after completing a £12 million move from Chelsea, signing on a long-term contract.

But after only starting 31 league games in three-and-a-half years at the Blues - many of them on the right wing, rather than in his preferred position as a stiker - Rodgers believes the England international has to make the most of his opportunity at Anfield.

"We are bringing in a player who has to perform if he wants to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world," Rodgers said. "If he wants to stay at the big level, this is probably his last chance. That was one of the reasons as well."

Despite this, the Liverpool manager believes his new signing will be a major success at Anfield.

"I have got every faith he will be a real hit. He gives us another threat at the top end of the field," he said. "He gives us the power, he gives us the presence, he gives us the mobility at the top end of the field and the biggest thing in his game is hunger."

Rodgers revealed he had been tracking Sturridge for more than a decade and hopes he will see a repeat of the prolific return the striker produced on loan at Bolton, when he scored eight goals in 12 games.

"He's a player that I have known since he was about 12 years of age, and have seen him come through at various clubs," Rodgers said. "He made his name as a youngster at Man City, one of the top young strikers in European football.

"He made a move [to Chelsea] and it was always going to be difficult as a young player because what he is is a goalscorer and the only real spell he has had [as a striker] has been at Bolton and when he has played games he has got goals."

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