Why forgetting Daniel Sturridge is a mistake
People are forgetful. They forget both the big and the small things in life. People almost seem to have forgotten that Luis Suarez has almost reached cannibal status with his antics. Since his almost glorious success with Barcelona helping winning the coveted ‘treble’ he has been in line for some much deserved praise. Liverpool have been in poor shape since the Uruguayan decided to take leave for the Catalan giants. The club hierarchy never thought it wise, funnily enough, to re-invest the ‘Suarez money’ into a world renown and world class striker to take the reins from the maverick number 7 who had recently departed for sunny Spain.
Recent conjecture would indicate Christian Benteke will sign from Aston Villa before the beginning of the season. This is fantastic news for Liverpool faithful as it means the club are looking to bring a striker and have a plan for the season ahead. Even if the hulking Belgian doesn’t sign the current transfer window is already a vast improvement on the last. My concern, however, comes in where Sturridge is concerned. He has been discarded from the common “Potential Liverpool XI” that can be found strewn all over Twitter. This is understandable but also a mistake.
Daniel Sturridge has, in his two years at Anfield, picked up several injuries that have brought him an unwanted tag of being injury prone. Form is temporary, we all understand this, but many struggle to understand what it means to be injury prone. It is something that Sturridge will struggle with for most of his life if not all of it. He is likely to pick up an injury, the likelihood far exceeds that of a normal player.
In an interview with TalkSPORT in 2014 he put it down to being hereditary. “I’ve been unfortunate this season to pick up injuries. Maybe it’s my body type and hereditary,”
“My uncle Dean had a lot of muscle problems when he played, Uncle Simon the same, and my dad. Maybe it’s the Caribbean vibes. I have fast-twitch muscles, I am more vulnerable to muscle injuries.” Sturridge has picked up several thigh and calf problems which have prevented him from furthering his impressive tally with the club. He has scored 40 goals in 66 games which is the mark of a world class striker. During the 2013/2014 season he scored in nine games consecutively. This uncompromising type of play was completely absent for Liverpool last season.
Despite still struggling for fitness last term the Englishman managed five league goals. Better than new recruits Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli who managed just three league goals combined. Liverpool need a clinical finisher on the frontline once more and Benteke could bring this to Liverpool and despite being ‘Premier League Proven’ there are guarantees or refunds once you have spent £32 million. The ‘Twitter experts’ that I so frequently mention in my articles have been all excited about potentially seeing a partnership of Sturridge and Benteke. And I must say I agree.
The duo won’t be as fluid as when Suarez graced Anfield with his presence but the two will be able to link up well and no doubt score numerous goals. The Belgian has scored 49 goals in 100 appearances for Aston Villa, almost 1 in 2. He is a proven goal-scorer and as I have said before, Liverpool really could do worse than that.
The signing of Benteke has its roots in the recurrence of Sturridge’s injury problems at the end of last season. While manager Brendan Rodgers ranks the Englishman highly, Liverpool’s need of a top class striker after Suarez was clear. “I need one that is going to be playing and at a top level every week,” said Rodgers in April.
Hypothetically, if Sturridge managed to remain injury-free then it would bode extremely well for Liverpool’s top four ambitions. Another lesson Liverpool learned from Suarez was about over-reliance on one striker – with a fit again Sturridge partnering new signing Beneteke, they would start the season in far better shape. Sturridge is able to play anywhere across a front three and with Roberto Firmino’s arrival on Merseyside this could be a possible shape that Brendan Rodgers could go for. Sturridge’s output could be further bolstered by the link-up that is likely to ensue between Philippe Coutinho and Firmino.
Liverpool fans would do well to not forget the striker that is already at the club who, fitness allowing will score goals galore to take Liverpool to the peaks where the historic club belongs.
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