Sanjay Nair address the questions surrounding Daniel Sturridge’s future in Liverpool’s team.
And finally… Liverpool have returned to their winning ways. Dynamic in attack, running the Spurs defence ragged, gegenpressing the midfield into submission, Liverpool showed a welcome return to their early season form much to the relief of their fans. Hopefully, they will go on to build on this important win against fellow top four contenders as the race for Champions League qualification gets tighter by the week.
Sadio Mané was once again the chief tormentor bagging a brace with two extremely well-taken goals. However, it was the restoration of Wijnaldum to the midfield trio that made all the difference, exemplified by the brilliant through-ball which saw Mané race away for the first goal. Gini also had many other key moments in the game ensuring more forward movement than the lateral or backwards passes that were a trademark of Emre Can in the past few games. A bonus was the clean sheet, credit for which should be attributed mainly to the commanding performances by Mignolet and the surprisingly strong and composed Lucas.
In the midst of this feel-good atmosphere, one glaring question pops up in the mind: has the moment come to finally call time on Sturridge’s career at Liverpool?
Despite the string of poor results, the manager did not budge from his tried and tested strategy which meant that Sturridge has not been restored to the starting line-up as much as a striker of his quality would have expected. It is pretty much evident that Klopp only looks at Sturridge when he is forced to rest some of his regular players and even then, there is Origi to offer competition. If the Spurs game is any indicator, Liverpool have regained their swagger and with Sturridge playing absolutely no part whatsoever in it, the future does not seem to hold anything for him at Liverpool. No matter what is said publicly to hide his feelings, this must be very disheartening for a player of his ability.
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A move at the end of the current season should seem the most logical decision for both parties. Currently valued at about £25 million, it might not be easy for Sturridge to find a suitor of his choice especially given his reputation for frequent injuries. Unlikely as it seems that any of the clubs in the top six will be interested, he is still worth the gamble for clubs looking to maintain their Premier League status but are short of quality strikers.
West Bromwich Albion with their newly acquired financial backing, West Ham and perhaps Newcastle United who are sure to be promoted would appear to be the best places for Sturridge to resurrect his career. With the World Cup looming next year, he will need as many opportunities as possible to show that he needs to be on the plane to Russia.
Stranger signings have happened in the Premier League and so it would not be surprising to see Sturridge sign for teams finishing in the lower half of the Premier League, purely for the sake of playing time. After all, at the age of 27 when most strikers would be peaking, Daniel Sturridge’s predicament over the past couple of years means that he has to start all over again and prove he is one of the most fearsome strikers in the country.
If you’d like to discuss Daniel Sturridge’s steady decline at Liverpool with Sanjay, be sure to find him on Twitter.