sport

Sturridge: Time to step up

Daniel Sturridge believes new stars can emerge for Liverpool following the departure of Luis Suarez and has backed Raheem Sterling to carry on improving.

Suarez's move to Barcelona will leave a massive void at Anfield, after he topped the scoring charts and was named PFA Player of the Year as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League last season.

Sturridge insists there is enough talent in the Liverpool squad to cope with the Uruguayan's absence, but feels it is most important to pull together as a team.

He said: "People have to step up. When stars leave, a new star can be born, as they say.

"There are a lot of players that can take that mantle, but it is a team game, regardless of whether there are star players within that team. It's not about one person, it's about the team."

Sturridge thinks Sterling is one of those players who can continue to go from strength to strength, having become a key player under Brendan Rodgers last term.

As well as being his friend and team-mate, Sturridge feels a sense of responsibility to try and guide Sterling during the early part of his career.

"Me and Raheem are very close," he told Jamaica's Nationwide Radio. "To me, he's my little brother and I look after him and try to help him as a footballer and as a person.

"I didn't have anyone take me under their wing when I was his age, so it is important now that I understand my role, which is the big brother role. I guide him where I can, and that's as important as being his friend and his team-mate.

"It's going to be great. Raheem is a great player. He's young, but he's got a lot of talent, and talent that sometimes people don't get to see as well.

"He's young and he is still improving. He's already improved so much, which I am happy about, and he will continue to do that."