Daniel Sturridge is the best second striker in the Premier League according to ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy.
The forward scored a stunning long-range goal to earn the Reds a point against his former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and has enjoyed a strong start to the season despite having been left out by Jurgen Klopp in recent campaigns.
Sturridge was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion last term where he failed to score in six appearances, but this season he has featured five times already and netted twice.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Murphy said: “If Daniel Sturridge is fit, he’s a good as there is in the Premier League.
“He’s a natural finisher, he scores all types of goals and what he’s got that most other forwards haven’t is total self-belief. He’s so capable. He’s a match-winner and a sensational player.
“For me, he’s the best second striker in the Premier League by a mile. Gabriel Jesus has dipped a bit and you could argue Marcus Rashford maybe, but he’s not as naturally gifted a goalscorer as Sturridge in the box.
“If Liverpool can keep Sturridge fit and keep him happy, by giving him plenty of minutes off the bench and get him starting in certain games in the league and cups, he could be the difference. He’ll get 20 goals this season if he gets the games.
“He’s got 67 goals in 140 games for Liverpool – there are not many strikers with a better strike rate, and he’s not first choice! You shouldn’t really be sitting on the bench anywhere with that strike rate.
“But if they keep using him in the way they are, with how fit and hungry he looks, Liverpool are going to be there or thereabouts. He could well be the difference for Liverpool [in the title race].
Liverpool face Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday before hosting Manchester City in a huge Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon.
City top the table on 19 points, ahead of Liverpool only on goal difference, but both teams have a near perfect record having won six and drawn one of their seven matches so far.