Daniel Sturridge completed his transfer to Liverpool from Chelsea earlier today which will bring a smile to Brendan Rogers face, but it seems some Liverpool fans will need some convincing.
I have always been a fan of Sturridge. I remember when he was coming through the ranks at Manchester City and was surprised when he left for Chelsea as I felt that he wouldn’t get much time to develop there. This was around the same time that Scott Sinclair, who funnily enough is now at Manchester City, had to leave Chelsea to enhance his career.
Sturridge joined Chelsea as 19-year-old for an initial fee of £3.5m and so with Chelsea getting a rumoured £12m fee for the 23-year-old it seems a good piece of business by Chelsea. Especially when they have just signed Demba Ba for much less.
While it may be a good piece of business for Chelsea it may well be another expensive piece of business by Liverpool, although I believe different, there are many that feel that Sturridge is not worth that kind of money.
I believe in Sturridge’s ability, but his form, due to injury and not playing that much and out of position, just has not been there and it may take some time before he hits it again. And it is for that reason that he could struggle. And if he does struggle and the confidence goes and goals don’t come, and the fans lose patience then he could be a flop.
In recent times Sturridge has been relegated to getting his minutes playing out on the right wing, but he much prefers to play more centrally, saying as much in his first interview for his new club on Liverpool’s website
“I see myself as a striker. I think I perform best there because my attributes, I believe, are best as a central striker”
he also showed his willingness to play wherever Brendan Rodgers sees fit adding
“I have played on the wing and have learned a lot doing so. I’d never refuse to play in that position and I’ve never demanded to play up front, either”. (I don’t know why, but I felt that was a dig at a certain striker who is currently going through a contract dispute with Arsenal.)
As Liverpool are currently lacking in that position it seems that the two could be a good fit. Add that to the style of play that Brendan Rodgers likes to play and it could be a signing that turns out to be a bargain.
I could imagine that Rodgers will play Sturridge as the main striker with Suarez behind with Downing and Sterling flanking either side. If another more attacking winger was brought in to replace Downing then Liverpool would have a much more attacking line-up, and if Sturridge isn’t scoring then they can always rely on good old Suarez.
In his interview with LFCTV Sturridge was asked how excited he was about working with Brendan Rodgers and his vision for the club to which he said “I’m hugely excited. I just can’t wait for the games to start rolling on. I’ve not played for a while – I’ve had a couple of injuries over the last few months – but I’m just happy now to join such a great club, to be part of a revolution and to be part of something new and something special.”
One of the negative things people have to say about Sturridge is that he is a selfish player. But if he is to play up front, and not on the wing, then this will be a beneficial trait, not a negative one. With players around him looking to feed him balls, they will be looking for him to be scoring them, not passing the ball back out wide. Suarez is a play maker who can score. Sturridge is a goal poacher who utilizes his speed to beat defenders. If they play to his strengths this could work. It is one that I think will work out, but when it comes to football 2+2 does not always = 4.