Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge raced to 50 goals in double-quick time at Anfield but he already has his sights set on his century.
Sturridge’s strike in the 4-0 Merseyside derby victory over Everton on Wednesday night brought up his landmark in his 87th appearance.
That is fewer matches than club greats such as Luis Suarez (91 games), John Aldridge (92), Michael Owen (93), Robbie Fowler (94), Kenny Dalglish (99) and Ian St John (111).
The only post-War forwards to have reached their half-century quicker are Albert Stubbins (77), Roger Hunt (79) and Fernando Torres (84).
But with injury forcing Sturridge to miss virtually half the games the club have played since he joined in January 2013, the England man is keen to make up for lost time with his next 50 — starting with a claim for Philippe Coutinho’s goal in the rout over their near-neighbours.
“Of course I’ve told him. He would claim it is his but it touched me so it is my goal,” said Sturridge of Liverpool’s second goal of the night.
“If it touches you you claim it, wherever it touches you — eyelash, wherever. It did actually touch me.
“There has been some dubious decisions but that is not dubious, it is clear for everyone to see.
“Now 50 has gone it is on to the next game and hopefully I can add to that. It should be 51 because the fourth goal is mine.”
Despite his quality, Sturridge’s strike-rate is probably not appreciated as much as it should be just because his goals have been spread over such a long time. But with a run of games in the team, and more starts likely if Divock Origi’s ankle injury turns out to be more serious than a sprain, Sturridge could improve it even more.
“My dad and my brother pay attention to that stuff (landmarks). I just look to go out there and score as many goals as possible,” he added.
“It is great to get to 50 goals. I won’t play it down and say I’m not happy I’ve done so well so far with the club but it is onwards and upwards.
“It is important to understand now the next aim is 100 goals.”
Origi has credited Sturridge with being a major help in his development during his first season at Anfield, progress which saw him emerge as Klopp’s preferred striker for the big games in recent weeks. He started both legs of the Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund and the derby, scoring in each.
But Sturridge insists he too is still learning and continues to study some of the great goalscorers of the game to hone his craft.
“Divock has put the work in himself so I wouldn’t like to take credit for the work he has done,” said the 26-year-old.
“You have to take things from everyone’s game and if he’s taken things from my game I am grateful I could help him.
“I’m not too old to learn from any players. I still watch clips of older generations — Thierry Henry, Ronaldo — as well as players who aren’t playing for top clubs.
“I am a student of the game, I like to watch and it is important to keep adding facets to your game so you can improve.”
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