The striker has done little to prevent Liverpool’s slide since Sadio Mane’s temporary departure, according to the former Manchester United defender
Rio Ferdinand feels he has identified the perfect role model for Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge in the form of Chelsea star Pedro.
Injuries continue to hinder Sturridge, with the striker being limited to 13 Premier League appearances this term, scoring two goals,
And his presence did nothing to prevent the Reds suffering defeat in the EFL Cup semi-final to Southampton in midweek before they lost 2-1 to Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday.
After urging the 27-year-old to “show his heart, and go out and show what he’s made of”, Ferdinand feels the striker should follow the example of the Chelsea attacker and surprise everyone with his performances.
In his column for the Sunday Times, Ferdinand wrote: “He’ll stand there, as he did a few days ago, and say his goal ratio is great, but teams need players they can rely on every week. I look at him, sitting there as Liverpool’s third-choice striker, not even coming on as substitute half the time, and his abilities are so much greater than that. This is his moment, his time to grab it.
“Top players don’t want to tell you about their stats. I hate it. Don’t talk, I don’t care. Just go and do it. ‘My goal ratio is…’ I’m afraid talk can sound like weakness, like you’re making excuses. The top forwards I played with — Ronaldo, Rooney, Van Nistelrooy — just spoke in performances and goals.
“Sturridge needs look no further than across the tunnel at the Chelsea side to see an example he should follow: Pedro.”
A five-time La Liga winner and owner of three Champions League winners’ medals with Barcelona, Pedro moved to Stamford Bridge last season but was forced to settle for substitute appearances under Antonio Conte at the start of this term.
The Spain international has since earned his place in the starting XI and has contributed five goals and five assists to the Premier League leaders’ cause.
Ferdinand has been impressed with the defiance of Pedro and feels that, amidst their struggles in Sadio Mane’s absence, it is the exact thing Liverpool need more of.
“People were hammering Pedro at the start of the season and now he’s one of Antonio Conte’s most important players and he has turned it round on the pitch, not by talking,” Ferdinand added.
“Pedro’s a winner. He was integral to Barcelona’s great team; the first person to trigger their press in forward areas. He was a nightmare to play against.
“The way he has stood up to be counted at Chelsea is what Liverpool need not just from Sturridge but several other players in Mane’s absence.”
Sturridge could come up against Pedro when Liverpool play host to Chelsea in the Premier League on Tuesday.