Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers: Sturridge in last-chance saloon

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told new signing Daniel Sturridge his £12million move to Anfield represents his last chance to succeed at a big club.

The 23-year-old completed a long-term deal with the Reds on Wednesday and was in the stands to watch his new side comfortably beat Sunderland 3-0.

"He is a player that I've know since he was about 12 years of age," said the Reds boss.

"He made his name as a youngster at Manchester City when he was one of the top young strikers in European football."

Having left Manchester City in the summer of 2009 with six goals in 32 senior appearances - the majority as substitute - he found life equally tough at Chelsea. In 96 games for the Stamford Bridge club he hit 24 goals, although he still made only 31 Premier League starts in three and a half years.

His best spell was in a five-month loan period at Bolton, while they were still in the top flight, when he scored eight goals in 12 matches. Rodgers hopes the England international can reproduce that form over a much longer period with Liverpool.

"When he has played games he has scored goals. He gives us that power, presence and mobility at the top end of the field and the biggest thing is hunger," he added. "We are bringing in a player who knows he has to perform if he wants to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world and this is probably his last chance."

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has also insisted now is the time for Sturridge to realise his potential.

"He's suffered a bit at Manchester City and moved on to Chelsea where he hasn't played as much as he wanted but has shown flashes of brilliance," he said.

"I think he's at the age now when he needs to settle down, get a settled club and show consistently what qualities he's got."

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