Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sturridge a better option than Welbeck for England

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 9 Oct 2018

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A minority of Liverpool fans are reportedly annoyed by the fact Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck is in the England squad ahead of Reds striker Daniel Sturridge. As an England fan, I am not sure either should be near the squad, as both are bit-part players at their clubs and do not see regular game time in the Premier League

I prefer Sturridge to Welbeck

Even as an Evertonian, I would see that I prefer Sturridge to Welbeck. I just believe that Sturridge is a better finisher and all-around player. On his day, Sturridge can be a predator in front of goal.

However, injuries coupled with the fact that the former Chelsea striker is behind Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the forward pecking order have prevented the forward developing in recent years.

Welbeck for me is not good enough to be a first choice striker at Arsenal, so he should not be in the England squad. He is competing against Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a starting role.

However, Welbeck has never really been good enough to start for Arsenal. He has always been a second string striker really. He is only in the England squad because of a dearth of strikers available to Gareth Southgate.

Southgate seems to love the hard-working Welbeck though, so he is an automatic inclusion in most of his Three Lions squads.

Could thrive elsewhere

I have said this for years, but Sturridge would thrive elsewhere with regular football, something he did not always get on loan at West Brom last season. He has always come across as a lad with a big ego, so playing a secondary role to the aforementioned trio is unlikely to sit well with him.

For me, Sturridge would be better served at a club where he would play on a regular basis, and not just in cup games or as a regular substitute. He does have talent and if he can stay fit, maybe he can still get more out of his career. Because at the moment his career has been a story of false starts and potential unfulfilled, which is a shame because he does have talent and seemingly a winning mentality.

It would be amazing if Sturridge could play regularly at Liverpool. However, that is not going to happen. Even with the likes of Mane, Firmino and Salah tired and fatigued, Jurgen Klopp is not prepared to start Sturridge. Of course, teams want to field their best players in big games like Sunday’s against Manchester City, yet the Reds front three looked exhausted. Klopp only trusted Sturridge enough to put him on as a substitute.

There have been reports in the media since Klopp’s arrival that the German is not a massive fan of Sturridge. The fact that he has seen so little game time in the last few seasons kind of confirms that theory.

England without Sturridge

As it is, England will head to Croatia on Friday night without Sturridge, with Welbeck most likely starting the clash on the substitute’s bench. Both teams are odds of 9/5 to win the Nations League game in Rijeka.

Those odds suggest it could be a tight encounter. That means that England may need an attacking player to come off the bench and make an impact on the game. Sturridge has become a specialist at making such an impact in recent seasons.

Welbeck is also best when coming off the bench, which he has plenty of practice at in recent seasons at Arsenal. England boss Southgate has talked about picking players who are playing for his squad, yet Welbeck gets in the squad time after time.

If you are going to choose a striker that is not playing it might as well be one who can find the net. Sturridge is far more of a natural finisher than Welbeck, so should be in ahead of Welbeck.

Should Daniel Sturridge be in the England squad ahead of Danny Welbeck?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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