Player Profile - Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge Makes A Timely Return For The Reds 

Personal information
Full name: Daniel Andre Sturridge 
Date of birth: 1 September 1989 
Age: 26
Place of birth: Birmingham, England
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 
Playing position: Striker

Club information
Current team: Liverpool
Number: 15

Youth career
1995–1996: Cadbury Athletic
1996–2000: Aston Villa
2000–2003: Coventry City
2003–2006: Manchester City

Senior career
2006 – 2009: Manchester City 32 Appearances, 6 goals
2009 – 2013: Chelsea 96 Appearances, 24 goals
2011 → Bolton Wanderers (loan) 12 Appearances, 8 goals
2013 – Liverpool 76 Appearances, 45 goals 

National career
2004–2005: England U16 5 Appearances, 6 goals 
2005–2006: England U17 9 Appearances, 7 goals
2007: England U18 1 Appearances, 2 goals
2008: England U19 3 Appearances, 1 goal
2009: England U20 1 Appearances, 1 goal
2009–2011 England U21 15 Appearances, 4 goals
2011– England 16 Appearances, 5 goals   

Since his arrival at Anfield, Daniel Sturridge has continued to divide opinion. At first, many questioned whether £10 million for a striker who promised much but delivered little at Chelsea was worth the money. Brendan Rodgers was allegedly against the purchase and moved to block the deal, but Daniel Sturridge would go on to prove he was worth every penny. His goal scoring record of 45 goals in 75 appearances for Liverpool is not something to be taken lightly when you consider the vast majority were in open play.

For example, it was his six goals in the first six games which won Rodgers the points to lay the foundation of Liverpool’s title run along with another 18 in an exciting partnership with Luis Suarez. With the world at his feet, Sturridge would meet his arch nemesis and the reason for all the doubt, injuries. Since his arrival at Liverpool in 2013, Sturridge has missed a combined 75 games in three seasons and 365 days in total! The source of the curse laid on a long-standing hip problem that the club moved to resolve. Rodgers eased Sturridge into this season stalling the strikers come back until September where he once again scored vital goals. However, as one injury healed, another would follow. The latest injury, a knee injury after a clash of knees in training with Jordan Ibe, would take him out of action for a month. It was at this point; the grumbles around Anfield murmured “sell him”. But yet again, his return would win the scousers another game, two goals and an all round world class performance leading to the destruction of Southampton in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals, thrashing the Saints 6-1. Fate would have it that the English forward would then suffer another injury in the form of a hamstring pull. Sports fitness enthusiast Raymond Verhejin, who has been making a lot of noise on Twitter, believes that it’s Jurgen Klopp’s methods that were at the heart of the hamstring crisis. A strong majority feel it more a case of bad luck, but what is true, is that a player who has not had a full pre-season in two years was bound to feel the effects of Klopp’s Gegenpressing. This reason hasn’t stopped the growing discontent amongst supporters who now believe that all these injuries are in his head, in no small part thanks to Klopp. Perhaps mistimed, perhaps misunderstood, but Klopp’s comments about Sturridge must “know the difference between real pain and normal pain” did little to help Sturridge’s reputation with the fans, and many now question his mental toughness.

Sturridge has earned the right for fans to be patient. His goal scoring record and his age are important factors, and he still has a lot to offer in the coming years. To throw a striker as prolific as him under the bus for £25 million, the price of what Berahino is worth these days apparently is football transfer stories gone mad.  Sturridge has proved not only can he score goals and win matches, but he gets the best out of everyone around him. His movement off the ball drags defenders deeper and provides more space for the playmakers to play, and his instincts align with those of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who will be able to play instinctive through balls knowing Sturridge will be alive to it. The prolific forward is not just another striker; he is one at an elite level and the type of striker all big clubs would die to have in their squad. To let him go at a quarter of his value would be Ludicrous, and to agree to let him leave Liverpool makes little sense. Patience will be key this season. 

It must be a pretty horrible feeling going onto a pitch wondering if a muscle will pop or a hamstring will pull. You can’t put in 100 per cent. But all Sturridge wants to do is play. To question otherwise is just laughable. Sturridge and Liverpool will go toe-to-toe with Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final this weekend, and with the English striker back to full fitness, he will offer the Reds the type of firepower and quality they have lacked all season.