Daniel Sturridge is ready to step up and fill the sizeable gap left by Luis Suarez in the Liverpool attack – but says his team-mates need to do likewise as they begin life without the prolific Uruguayan.
Suarez finished as Liverpool’s leading scorer in each of his three seasons at Anfield, including netting 31 goals in the Barclays Premier League last term as the Reds claimed a top-two spot.
However, Brendan Rodgers’ men will not be able to rely on Suarez next term after the 27-year-old was sold to Barcelona for a club-record £75million this summer.
It will not be easy to replace Suarez’s goals or his all-round contributions to the team, but England striker Sturridge insists there is more than enough talent at Liverpool to ensure the Reds continue moving forward.
The 24-year-old, who was second to Suarez in the Premier League scoring charts last term with 21 goals, said in several national newspapers: “It was a unique partnership, and I wish Luis all the best. We shared some good times together. We created history with our goals and became the most successful Liverpool partnership in one season.
“But in terms of next season for the goals, I’ll step up myself and everyone has to. It’s everyone’s job to do that, the new boys who have come in as well as the players who have been there all season.
“We will move forward as a team.”
Although Suarez has gone, Rodgers has been busy adding to his squad this summer, with England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana being brought in along with Emre Can, Lazar Markovic and Dejan Lovren.
Sturridge believes the future looks bright for the 18-time English champions, adding: “This is a huge club, with a lot of players who can step up. Luis has left. That’s football, he’s moved on.
“For me, with the signings the manager has made – exciting players, young players, up-and-comers as they call them – we are going to have that winning mentality.
“We will still have the mentality to move forward, be an exciting squad, playing attacking football and that’s the Liverpool way.
“Whether we are underdogs or favourites (next season), it will not change our mentality. We are a young, hungry squad looking to put our stamp down, not just in the Premier League but Europe as well.”