Liverpool Football Club have this week announced that English striker Daniel Sturridge, will be allowed to leave the club later this month upon the expiry of his contract.
Having joined the Reds from Premier League rivals Chelsea back in 2013, Sturridge has since spent six years on Merseyside. He made a blistering start to his Liverpool career, scoring on his debut and laid down a marker for what was too come.
In his second season at Anfield, Sturridge really showed himself to be a top class forward, with technique, pace and an eye for goal. The Birmingham born man was pivotal in a title challenge that Liverpool marginally missed out on in 2013/14, forming what was one of the most iconic front pairings in recent times, the ‘SAS’, consisting of himself and current Barcelona player Luis Suarez.
The pair proved very much hard to stop with Sturridge ending the season with an impressive 21 goals and seven assists after 29 appearances, while Suarez ended the season as golden boot winner, smashing home 31 times in just 33 games, adding 12 assists on the way.
Unfortunately, maintaining such high standards has proved difficult for Sturridge in recent years, with injuries proving a massive factor in the downfall of his Liverpool career. Still very much a loved player on Merseyside, but the lack of availability clearly was causing issues.
Another major problem that injuries caused him was the fact that Jürgen Klopp was forced into recruiting reinforcements in attacking areas, which have very much proved to be hits at the club. The likes of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah coming in has really made the task of Sturridge nailing down a starting berth tough.
The 29-year-old was sent on loan towards the end of last season to his boyhood club, West Brom. Although, he was again limited for appearances due to injury he did look bright at times in a side battling relegation.
If a club is able to keep Sturridge fit it is proven that he will produce the goods, it’s just whether they can. In his six-year spell with Liverpool he has overall contributed to 67 goals and 26 assists over a 160-game period.
A player blessed with abilities in various aspects of football, he really would be a good signing for a lot of Premier League clubs to help bolster their squad.
An additional attribute which Klopp has spoken highly about in wishing Sturridge well on his future career is the leadership qualities he possesses, a trait he may not be associated with. However, it is something that most dressing rooms will hope for.
Speaking with Liverpool.com Klopp said:
“What maybe is missed on the outside of the club by many is what a great leader Daniel is in our dressing room. He is smart, confident and not afraid to speak up when he thinks there is something that needs adapting to help the team. He has been great with many of the younger players also, so he has been so important to our progression here.”
Sturridge become available on a free transfer at the end of the month and will leave Liverpool a Champions League winning. A fitting end.
Would you be happy to see your club sign Sturridge?
(Image via The Irish Times)