Thursday, August 17, 2017

It’s Time for Daniel Sturridge to Shine at Liverpool

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Jul 2017

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Will Daniel Sturridge ever be his old self at Liverpool? / Image via dailymail.co.uk

A big question mark hovers around such a claim presented in the title of this article.

And, admittedly, it does sound like a strange statement to make four-and-a-half years after Daniel Sturridge’s arrival at Liverpool from Chelsea in January 2013.

Initial Success

Freed from the shackles he struggled to play under at Stamford Bridge, constantly complaining he had been played out of position and not given enough first-team time to prove his worth, the England international Daniel Sturridge initially thrived at Anfield.

Backed by former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers the 27-year-old striker needed no excuses to form a lethal partnership with current Barcelona star Luis Suarez and help Liverpool to their biggest and closest push for the long-awaited Premier league title.

With 21 goals next to his name, Daniel Sturridge finished second to Luis Suarez who bagged ten more before lifting the anchor and moving to Barcelona.

The fans’ pain of Liverpool nearly missing the Premier League title was compounded by the departure of the club’s key man. Supporters hoped Sturridge would embrace his ‘main man’ role, but the England international never quite managed to live up to the expectations and ended up being pushed to the outskirts of the first-team, struggling with both injuries and the state of his mind.

Saddening Spiralling Spell  

Three years have gone by since Sturridge’s single successful season at Anfield.

We could say injuries carry the biggest responsibility for the fact Sturridge’s form waned dramatically since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in 2015, but it would simply be unfair.

Saying that injuries have simply been a trigger could be more realistic despite an overpowering number of 414 which stands for the days English forward was unavailable in his last three seasons at Liverpool. The staggering number indeed offers a deep insight into Sturridge’s woes at the club and raises a big question regarding his future at Anfield.

But there is something else worrying me more than Sturridge fitness and physical ability.

It might be my personal assessment but Daniel Sturridge definitely remains a player who struggles under pressure and often resorts to selfishness and unreasonable choices on the pitch whenever faced with a problematic situation upfront. Sturridge seemingly does not fit into Jurgen Klopp’s style of play and that is his biggest problem. Adding to the burning issue, the former Manchester City and Chelsea striker has so far failed to transform himself into a high-intensity forward Liverpool manager uses in his fluent side.

Firmino and Divock Origi as Klopp’s preferred choices upfront have used their work-rate and link-up play to promote themselves into Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice strikers, leaving Daniel Sturridge out of the first team even when the Englishman was fit.

Sturridge’s inconsistent stretch resulted in 12, 14 and 20 Premier League matches for Liverpool over the course of the last three seasons, many of which came from the bench. So, can he hope for more is he manages to survive the hot summer transfer window?

What Does the Future Hold for Daniel Sturridge?

If we are to make any conclusions from the club’s pre-season moves, Daniel Sturridge could still have a future at Liverpool.

The Reds are getting back to the Champions League and could use the numbers to cope with what’s likely to be a physically demanding season. Having an extra player at your disposal could come quite handy, whereas the very prospect of playing at Europe’s elite stage might be that extra incentive Daniel Sturridge needs to get back to his top form.

Sturridge himself has made a strong statement by rejecting a move to Beijing Guoan, while the fact Englishman was included in club’s third kit launch might be a suggestion of its own.

Jurgen Klopp has so far refused to be dragged into speculation about Daniel Sturridge’s future, but the German did offer an important update on his player’s fitness. Former Borussia Dortmund manager says his striker is in the ‘best condition’ he has been in during his time at the club.

“Daniel could be part of the full pre-season so far so that’s very important.”, Klopp commented.

The German tactician is known to be rather coy on his player’s futures. One thing is for sure, though, Daniel Sturridge faces crucial time in his Liverpool career.

The Reds have added Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah, both of whom will increase competition for places upfront and Sturridge will have to work hard – both mentally and physically – in order to earn his place in the pecking order and.

Backed by both club and manager Daniel Sturridge will have no excuses this time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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