BRENDAN RODGERS has warned Daniel Sturridge he is on his “last chance” at an elite club after the striker watched his new team-mates demolish Sunderland.
Luis Suarez laid on the first goal for Raheem Sterling and then scored twice as the Anfield outfit began 2013 with a 3-0 Premier League home romp last night.
Sturridge was sat in the directors’ box having earlier in the day completed his much-touted £12million arrival from Chelsea.
Despite becoming a full England international, the 23-year-old failed to nail down a regular first-team place at neither Stamford Bridge nor first club Manchester City.
And Rodgers said: “I have seen Sturridge come through since he was 12 at various clubs.
“He made a move as a young player to Chelsea and it has been difficult. But he is a goalscorer and the only real spell he has had regular football was at Bolton where he got goals.
“He has got quality. If he wants to stay at this level, this is probably his last chance. I think he will prove a big hit and give us another attacking threat.
“He gives us power and presence at the top end of the field. The biggest thing is hunger. We are bringing in a player who knows he has to perform as he will be playing with one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Sturridge’s arrival will ease the burden on Suarez, although the Uruguayan has shown no signs of wilting as a lone striker with his double last night taking him to 18 goals for the season, already surpassing his tally for the previous campaign.
And Rodgers has revealed how Suarez’s form prompted comparisons with the world’s best player, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
“I was talking with Harry Redknapp after our game at QPR on Sunday and he said he was a Messi-type character,” said the Liverpool manager.