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What’s next for Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge after West Brom nightmare?

The England international has experienced yet another injury-stricken campaign.

Max Cohen

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Daniel Sturridge
Photo: Getty Images

In the closing stages of West Bromwich Albion’s improbable away victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Daniel Sturridge was substituted on for the Baggies for his first appearance since February.

Once one of the brightest striking talents in England, Sturridge’s injury-hit season and torrid time at West Brom has left his future shrouded in doubt. With no goals scored in just 85 minutes for the Baggies since joining in January, where does the 28-year-old striker go next?

There is clearly no path for success back at Anfield, as Sturridge’s parent club find themselves awash with striking talent at the moment. And with Divock Origi, Dominic Solanke, and Danny Ings also at the club, there isn’t even space for the injury-prone forward in the matchday squad.

The loan to the Hawthorns was meant to be a confidence-boosting spell where the striker could return to form with guaranteed a first-team spot. Yet the high hopes were dashed after he suffered a hamstring strain just three matches after making his West Brom debut.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

But all hope is not lost for the English international. Although his brief cameo on Sunday yielded little goalmouth action, it was a promising sign to see Sturridge return to fitness.

There are still five matches remaining in the Premier League season, providing a plethora of opportunities for the striker to regain his scoring touch.

Fortunately, manager Darren Moore has belief in the capabilities of Sturridge, and his recent comments will do wonders for the striker’s brittle confidence. The Baggies’ caretaker boss tipped the 28-year-old for a place in England’s World Cup set-up this summer, praising his finishing abilities and goal-scoring exploits.

Whether Sturridge can rekindle the 2013/14 form that made him the most dangerous Englishman in the league remains to be seen, but the final month of the season will nonetheless be crucial for the striker.

With a productive return to goalscoring form, Sturridge may well earn himself a summer move to a newly-promoted side, or to an established Premier League club looking for a proven top-flight goal threat.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Liverpool

Steven Gerrard called incoming Liverpool star Alisson ‘world-class’ in April

Liverpool will complete a world record move for the Brazilian this week.

Mathew Nash

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Liverpool are set to give the fans what they want by signing a new goalkeeper. A world record fee has been agreed with AS Roma for Brazilian number one Alisson this week. Liverpool will pay the Italian side £67 million for the 25-year-old. Sky Sports report he will undergo a medical this week and a deal will then be finalised.

It is a bold move from Liverpool, who for a number of seasons have suffered with mediocre goalkeeping performances from Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.

Alisson is considered one of the best keepers in Europe and keeps Manchester City’s brilliant Ederson Moraes on the bench for his country.

He is certainly highly-rated by one former Liverpool player and legend. Steven Gerrard is a big fan of the player.

He spoke highly of the goalie whilst working on BT Sport as a Champions League pundit last season.


“This fella does deserve the praise he is getting of late. He makes world-class saves, he’s up quick, he makes second saves. A world-class keeper no doubt.”

– Steven Gerrard talking of Alisson’s quality in April 2018

 


Of course, Liverpool came up against Alisson and his Roma side in the competition. Over the course of two legs, the Reds put seven goals past the Brazilian. It led some fans to question whether Alisson was actually the right man for Liverpool.

 

But Liverpool needed a keeper with pedigree. Karius is simply too error-prone and his confidence must be at an all-time low after his Champions League final woe.

Liverpool fans will hope Alisson can live up to Gerrard’s ‘world-class’ tag and his price-tag next season.

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Three alternatives for Liverpool with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out for the season

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Photo: Getty Images.

Amid what felt like a positive few days for Liverpool, fans were brought back down to earth by the devastating blow that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to return from injury in 2018/19.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed the news after the midfielder suffered damage to his posterior cruciate ligament, anterior cruciate ligament, and medial ligaments in a challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov in a Champions League semi-final against Roma.

Oxlade-Chamberlain underwent successful surgery only a few days after the incident but is not expected to be available for selection and fully fit until the 2019/20 season.

“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab. We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery, we were sure of it. There has been no change, the new information is that we’re now giving more detail publicly. But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus.”

Jurgen Klopp broke the news to the club’s official website.

The news comes as a real negative for Klopp, who will be busy planning how to get through the campaign without one of the team’s best performers in the tail end of last season.

His absence will open the door for three other men at Anfield though…

Georgino Wijnaldum

The arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho looked to be a major concern for the Dutchman, but with Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out it seems unlikely that he will be moved on this summer at least. Quietly efficient and often producing in big games, he has been one of the first to have a finger pointed at him in frustrating results against lower level opposition.

With such high quality additions, Wijnaldum falls into the category of a player without the glamour of the likes of Keita but lacking the status of Jordan Henderson or James Milner. At times he has had his biggest impact in a more advanced midfield role, and whilst he lacks the injured man’s energy, he could be an option.

Nabil Fekir

Despite a deal seemingly being called off, Dean Jones of Bleacher Report has suggested that a move could be back on and Fekir would take up the role of natural playmaker as the attacking option in Klopp’s midfield trio. Whilst he may not be a direct replacement for Oxlade-Chamberlain, he would be the closest to filling Philippe Coutinho since he left in January and the former Southampton man really stepped up his game.

It could be a big ask for Fekir arriving at a new club after such a short pre-season following a successful World Cup campaign with France, but there is little doubt that if he joins Fekir would be the highest quality alternative in his place.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Adam Lallana

Lallana was a favourite with his hard working attitude playing into Jurgen Klopp’s system perfectly, but the last season was a difficult one for the midfielder as he suffered a number of injury set-backs and never really got going for the Reds.

The most natural replacement in a midfield three given that it was the role he occupied before Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived from Arsenal, he may have a refreshed chance to make his claim this season.

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Adam Lewis could follow in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s footsteps for Liverpool

The 18-year-old has been in fine form for Liverpool and England in recent years.

Mathew Nash

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Liverpool have an absolute gem on their hands in the form of right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 19-year-old was incredible for the Reds last season, playing 33 times. Such an impressive campaign eventually saw him make the England squad for the World Cup in Russia.

But could they have an equally impressive breakout talent on their hands for the other side of the pitch?

Adam Lewis just put in a fine performance at left wing-back for England’s under-19s, as they defeated  Turkey 3-2 at the European Championships in Finland.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The 18-year-old will no doubt be catching the eyes of the Liverpool first-team staff with such performances.

The former academy captain made his way into the under-23 set-up last season and is now looking like one of Liverpool’s star young players.

He is a devastating attacking full-back. In his 37 under-18 league games to date, he has 12 assists. Steven Gerrard was a huge fan and the sky’s the limit for Lewis.


“Going forward, I haven’t seen anyone as good as him at that age, in terms of quality and what he can deliver in the final third.”

– Steven Gerrard on Adam Lewis’ potential

 


Andrew Robertson is currently Liverpool’s number one left-back and rightly so. But there is no reason why Lewis could not usurp the error-prone Alberto Moreno to be his back-up next season.

 

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