Time to say goodbye. To countries I never Saw and shared with you, now, yes, I shall experience them. I’ll go with you On ships across seas which, I know, no, no, exist no longer. – Time to say goodbye – Andrea Botchelli
Around this time last year I did an article for Anfield Index about Daniel Sturridge and how I felt it’s time Liverpool sold him. Since that article I received a lot of flak from Liverpool fans and the main complaint they have is Sturridge is Liverpool’s best striker. When he’s on the pitch he scores goals and Liverpool are a better team with him in it then they are when he’s not in it. These arguments for me last season were somewhat valid but this season I think it’s shite.
Sturridge has found his automatic starting position under threat since Jürgen Klopp took over last October. In big European games last season, Klopp favoured Belgian striker Divock Origi over Sturridge and this led Sturridge showing petulance on the pitch when he was being taken off after sixty or so minutes. I was hoping that his behaviour and attitude was the beginning of the end of his Liverpool career and Jürgen Klopp would move him on in the summer, especially with Klopp favouring Roberto Firmino playing the false nine role in away games, but it wasn’t to be. Sturridge went off to the European championships last summer and amazingly came back uninjured. Sturridge also it looks has lost his acceleration over thirty or so yards. While he still has it over say five to ten yards, his pace seems to have left him.
I’m not saying Sturridge isn’t a great striker, his goals to game ratio at Liverpool is something to be admired, my problem with Sturridge is his injury record. He has had twenty two different injuries since he signed for Liverpool in January 2013. These injuries are starting to have a negative effect on him and his game. As I said above, the pace he used to destroy defences with is starting to shows signs of slowing down. Because of this he is starting to become more selfish in and around the box. Always going for the glory, trying to force things instead of looking around him to see who is in a better position than him. In his five games for Liverpool so far this season he’s only scored just the two goals. For a player of Sturridge’s calibre for me that’s not good enough.
Sturridge will also be looking over his shoulder because of the performances of new signing Sadio Mané. Mané had proved to be a revelation in the games he’s played this season. He’s already become an important player for Liverpool, an integral part of the Liverpool attack. If Sturridge does spend a large portion of the season on the treatment table like he has over the past number of seasons, he won’t be missed as much as he was last season and the season before.