Alex Rogers argues that if Daniel Sturridge can’t adjust to Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style then he needs to move on.
Sturridge is one of the best strikers around. Not many people can pull off the things he can do with a football, or even try the outrageous pieces of brilliance that we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Sturridge.
But we’ve been starved of these moments as of late to the dismay of us fans. The brilliance we’ve become used to from Sturridge just isn’t happening as much this season and it’s easy to pin it on the player himself not playing well, but a player will never play to his full potential if he just doesn’t fit the system of the team.
And it just seems that that is the case, unfortunately. He just doesn’t have the mindset or fitness for Klopp’s high pressing, full on style of play. And that’s not me just saying that – the facts say it too.
Here are how many tackles and interceptions some of our attacking players make. Roberto Firmino makes a tackle or interception 2.6 times a game which, quite frankly, is pretty impressive for an attacking player. Coutinho makes 2.1 a game and Mané follows closely behind with 2. “And how many does Sturridge make?” I hear you say. Well, Sturridge makes 0.1 a game and I’m sorry, but that just isn’t good enough in a Klopp team.
It’s fair to say that Sturridge has suffered from a fair few injuries in his time, missing huge chunks of a season at a time and last season was no different, missing game after game. Hhaving so many injuries and missing so many games is going to take its toll on his fitness. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but Sturridge definitely used to be quicker than we are currently seeing, yes?
Let’s take the lackluster game we saw on Monday against Man Utd. Sturridge hardly made any impact whatsoever, eventually being substituted and, worryingly, making it 615 minutes since the often prolific and clinical Daniel Sturridge has scored a goal.
Now, Sturridge isn’t a bad player. No, no, no, that’s not what this article is about. But if he doesn’t adjust to Klopp’s playing style soon, I’m worried we won’t be with Sturridge much longer and that would be such a shame because Sturridge is world class! One of the best strikers in the league on his day, but as I’ve addressed, his day is hard to come by in recent times.
Who remembers Christian Benteke? Was Benteke a bad player? No. But did he fit the system? Also no. So, as he didn’t fit the system, he was sold and now he plays for a team that complements his playing style, already scoring a few goals with his glorious dome shaped head. Is this the same fate Sturridge faces?
Most fans would be sad to see Sturridge go, myself included, but like I said at the start of this piece, a player will never play to his full potential in a team that doesn’t play to his strengths. Sturridge has turned into somewhat of a square block, and Liverpool is a triangle hole, he just doesn’t fit.
But it’s not impossible for him to turn this around. It’s not unheard of to see a player transform as a player to what his team needs. Through training and development, Sturridge could become that high octane, gegenpressing, goal scoring machine that we desperately want him to be.
But if he can’t do that, then it would be best that both parties part ways. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
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