Liverpool’s recent thrashing of West Ham posed as a timely reminder of just how influential the partnership of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho is.
Rarely are the pair recognised for what a deadly duo they are when playing together, mainly because of how regularly injuries have kept them apart.
When both are fit, there is the argument for them being the club’s two elite players and perhaps the two most technically gifted stars Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal.
Coutinho’s influence having adopted a deeper midfield role on Sunday was helped significantly by the presence of Sturridge ahead of him. A simple combination of the Brazilian’s vision and creativity with Sturridge’s attacking intelligence and prowess punished a lifeless West Ham.
The way Sturridge mixes up his movement, between working the channels and running in behind, plays in unison to his teammate’s desire to look to the difficult pass and the one few opposition defences would detect. Moving centrally grants Coutinho the freedom to feed the runs of those ahead of him as well as initiate the intricate link up play in and around the opposition box- traits that makes him capable of getting the best out of Sturridge.
Liverpool’s No.10 having an entire pitch to look at as opposed to having a restricted view from a wider position is what has made, in the past, and could yet reestablish Coutinho and Sturridge as a formidable asset to the team.
Two prime examples come in the form of their link up play in the emphatic wins over Everton and Arsenal during the 2013/2014 Premier League season.
It’s worth remembering some of their best moments together…