Should Liverpool Consider Selling Daniel Sturridge?

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The injury record of Daniel Sturridge paints a bleak picture for his future; so much so that Liverpool may be better off cashing in on their star striker. In fact, if Sturridge returns this Thursday against Rubin Kazan, he would have been unavailable for 363 days since signing for Liverpool in January 2013. With such a record in mind, should Liverpool contemplate letting their almost title winning titan go?

Liverpool knew that they were taking an astronomical gamble with the signing of Sturridge from Chelsea. He made the change from Stamford Bridge to Anfield less than a month after recovering from a hamstring injury. Almost instant justification was provided for this concern as only 31 days in to his Liverpool career, he was faced with a groin strain. Sturridge needed to prove he could keep fit for an extended period of time.

Liverpool’s number 15 shone during the 2013/14 season, scoring 21 goals in 29 appearances. Now though, his performances throughout that season may be the only thing keeping him out of the transfer list. In one season, the Premier League witnessed a Sturridge that lived up to expectation and defied belief, much like Liverpool itself. Would it be right to sell the lethal striker after witnessing first-hand how powerful a weapon he can be when fit? Again, the focus is primarily on potential and future achievements. Liverpool are supportive of this philosophy, but after nearly three years, when do they start to question his long-term contribution?
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The issue with holding onto Sturridge is that with each injury, Liverpool’s expenditure continues without any return. They must continue to pay his wages of around £140,000 per-week even when absent from duty. To place this in context, during his recent hip injury which ruled Sturridge out for 164 days, Liverpool paid around £3,280,000 in wages.

Fellow Englishman Danny Ings will have; for now, taken any consideration away from selling the twenty six year old Sturridge. The former Burnley forward has been ruled out for the foreseeable future with a cruciate knee ligament injury, although is reportedly targeting a return to action before the end of the campaign due to the ‘clean tear’ of his ACL. Along with the currently injured Christian Benteke, Sturridge’s contribution is needed more than ever. With only the young, inexperienced Divock Origi to turn to, it is of paramount importance that Sturridge keeps fit. If

Should Liverpool look to offload Sturridge, would they make considerable profit on their £12 million investment back on January 3rd 2013? His value can heavily rely on his involvement at national level; this could tempt Liverpool’s owners in the near future. England representation will have boosted his price tag. Sturridge is regarded by many as the future main striker England have been lacking for many years. In a Premier League era where clubs must abide by home-grown quotas, this would provide an opportunity to purchase one of the most naturally gifted English players in the league. It is impossible to give an estimate of price; however, Raheem Sterling selling for £50 million and Luke Shaw for £30 million, proves just how valued English stars can be.

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The arrival of Christian Benteke increases the possibility of Sturridge’s sale. The Belgian came to Anfield a proven goal scorer with a sensational record of 42 goals in 89 appearances for Aston Villa. In his short time at Liverpool, he has two goals in six appearances. New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is no stranger to Benteke, having shown previous interest in the striker at Borussia Dortmund. If Klopp were to stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation, Sturridge could be pushed out wide, allowing the Anfield outfit to incorporate both of their main front men into the side. Liverpool have the option of building a team around a more reliable Benteke, over the unreliable Sturridge.

Daniel Sturridge is a fierce competitor and fantastic player when kept fit. He has mountains to climb this season and despite the undoubted talent that he brings to the table, the unreliable nature of his displays for the club mean that future injuries almost demand that the club begin to consider offers at the right price.

By James Pointing

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