Although he’s being widely tipped to be given a chance from the off when Sunderland visit Anfield this weekend, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge continues to be linked with a move away from the club with goal shy Southampton being tipped as his latest suitor as the South Coast side look to take him on loan in January with an eye to making the arrangement permanent for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £25mil.
Once a key figure under former manager Brendan Rodgers, the 27-year old has seen his role reduced considerably under the lead of Jurgen Klopp as the German manager prioritizes versatility and work-rate over good ol’ fashioned skill in front of the net. Relying on a front-three of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, the Reds haven’t been short on goals and go in to the Saturday’s meeting with the Black Cats with an impressive 30 in the bag already, but his ongoing exile on the bench could see Sturridge start agitating for a move away.
And for a player of his ability, clubs will start lining up. It’s the Saints this week as manager Claude Puel looks to pair Charlie Austin up with someone who knows how to find the back of the net, but Premier League rivals West Ham United and Arsenal as well as Italian juggernauts AC Milan are also rumoured to be keeping tabs on the situation at Anfield. While he’s continued to insist that he’s content fighting for his place on Merseyside and doing what he can to help the team succeed, it’s hard to see a player in the prime of his career with such an impeccable eye for goal being content with warming the bench for too long.
Of course, there’s lots of conflicting information floating around regarding whether or not Liverpool would let him leave if the price was right. While there’s suggestions that the Reds could use the money from his sale to bring in the likes of Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic or Dinamo Zagreb maestro Ante Coric, noting is ever certain. On the flip side, Sturridge could be in for an extended run in the first team when Mane links up with Senegal for the African Cup of Nations in January which could stall any decisions over his future further.