It’s no secret that Daniel Sturridge has not had his greatest couple of seasons in Liverpool colours. After a stunning performance in the 2013/14 campaign, where he combined masterfully with Luis Suarez to net 21 times in 24 league appearances, the 27-year-old has been ravaged by injury over the past couple of seasons.
Managing only 40 appearances in the Premier League over the past three seasons, Sturridge has found himself scoring only 14 times – a ratio that has seen him fall to a 1000/1-shot with bookmakers including bet365 football betting at topping the 2016/2017 Premier League goalscoring charts. Moreover, it’s increasingly seen him fall out of favour in Jurgen Klopp’s preferred 4-3-3 starting line-up this year.
Often being used off the bench, behind the likes of Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi – the latter of whom is also struggling to put together consistently high performances this term – in the pecking order, Sturridge is undoubtedly unsettled at Anfield. Should he indeed want out, West Ham and Arsenal are both being mooted as potential options for the Birmingham-born striker this summer.
Credit: Daniel Sturridge via Facebook.
With a pair of England internationals against Germany and Lithuania – in a friendly and World Cup qualifier, respectively – due to take place before the end of the month, Sturridge will have been eying up the pair of Three Lions fixtures as a means to regain his feet and put himself firmly in the shop window.
It’s doubtful whether captain Wayne Rooney and star Spurs striker Harry Kane will be able to feature due to recent injury problems, and England boss Gareth Southgate is facing somewhat of an injury crisis; Sturridge, despite his spotty domestic form, must have surely been nailed on as a starter for each match.
As it happens, however, the 25-cap international is himself struggling with a reoccurrence of the hip injury that sidelined him at the start of the current campaign, and he seems highly unlikely to feature in either England game – nor the next couple of Reds’ league outings, for that matter.
While Sturridge and perhaps the Liverpool establishment – who are reportedly very keen to get shot of the frontman – will be disheartened by his likely Three Lions omission if this latest setback ultimately leads to him staying on at Anfield, Reds fans may well consider the issue a blessing in disguise.
That view is certainly taken by Kop legend John Barnes, who recently called on the striker to see out the remainder of his contract at Anfield, which currently runs until 2019. “Well, I would like to think that he should stick around,” the iconic player said. “Daniel Sturridge is a fantastic player… What I would like to see is a fit and motivated Daniel Sturridge, and in those circumstances, of course I would like to see him stay.”
Although his fitness and motivation are both, of course, major doubts, Sturridge’s quality is undeniable; fans’ memories are not so short as to forget his incredible partnership with Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez in a hurry. Hopefully the striker will return from his current injury, which doesn’t appear to be too serious, determined to prove some of his naysayers wrong, and in turn, re-establish himself as a Liverpool legend.