Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge's absence is holding Liverpool back, claims Mark Lawrenson.Getty

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson says the Reds will not be at their best till Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen returns from injury.

The England striker and the Wales midfielder picked up injuries while on international duties last month and are closing on making a return to the first team. During their absence, the Merseyside club have struggled in all competitions, which includes a 1-0 defeat to Basel in the Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers saw his side register a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Saturday, which saw them end their three-match winless streak. The Northern Irishman had earlier admitted Liverpool are missing the "energy and quality" of Allen in their midfield.

The Reds legend has echoed the comments made by the former Swansea manager. Lawrenson believes Allen's absence has been a big miss in the heart of the Anfield club's midfield.

"Until Daniel Sturridge is back in the team, and players such as Joe Allen return, then Liverpool will be nowhere near their best. Some players you don't really notice until they aren't there," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Echo.

"And that's certainly the case with Joe Allen. Brendan Rodgers was right this week to state Liverpool have been missing the Wales international."

"The longer he has been out of the team, the higher his stock has risen. That is always the case with players who often slip under the radar. Some may not catch the eye all the much but are crucial to how the team plays."

"In the modern game, the spotlight falls on those who create chances and score goals. Allen doesn't really do either. But he makes the team work."

"He demonstrated towards the end of last season that he plays a key role, exactly why Rodgers was so keen to sign him from Swansea in the first place."

"Allen gives Liverpool a central three in midfield, which is something Rodgers wants. It helps Steven Gerrard and provides further energy around him," Anfield favourite added.