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Under the Microscope: The Sturridge Transfer

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge became the first high profile transfer of the 2013 January Transfer window, completing a move from defending European Champions Chelsea, to their old foes Liverpool. The fee is thought to be in the region of £12 million with a 5-year-contract being offered.

This will be Sturridge’s 4th different Premier League club having made appearances for Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers as well. Sturridge was one of the most highly rated youngsters to come through from England and being only 23 years old, he still has his entire career ahead of him.

This article will give the readers a look at the transfer from both Liverpool and Chelsea’s point of view while also stating the opinion of a neutral.

The Liverpool Perspective

The past few seasons has seen Liverpool drop down the pecking order and with that, the club has lost its ability to compete for the best players in the world. As a result Liverpool have adopted a long-term approach, blooding the youth prospects and providing first team opportunities to these players. Liverpool have had an obvious problem in front of goal scoring only 47 in the whole of last season in the league, while Suarez has scored nearly half of all league goals this season.

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Sturridge has signed a 4 year deal. (Photo: thetimes.co.uk)

Based on the above reasons, signing a prospect like Daniel Sturridge makes sense for the club as he not only provides much needed depth in the side, but will most likely be thrown right into the first team. Sturridge is a proven goalscorer but as Steven Gerrard has mentioned, he hasn’t been given a fair amount of opportunities. Personally I am not a big Sturridge fan myself, but based on the resources available and the ‘power’ we have in the transfer market, Sturridge is probably the best we can do. The fact that he is still 23 years old is a major factor in welcoming the former City youngster at Anfield. Sturridge will only add to the list of young first team players at Anfield.

Leading up into the the transfer window, Liverpool fans were tempting with the possibility of signing quality strikers like Fernando Llorente and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. But a more well reasoned look at those potential signings after overcoming the gullible intentions of the gossip columns, fans knew that such signings could only be experienced on Football Manager. What fans will also appreciate about this deal is how early in the window it was completed. It seems that the club if finally learning from past errors in transfer window, the most recent being missing out on Clint Dempsey on deadline day.

It will be interesting to see where Sturridge will be deployed by Brendan Rodgers. The system being implemented at the club suggests the Englishman will be played out wide, cutting inside and providing much needed support to Suarez. Although personally, I would prefer Sturridge to be played in the centre forward position where his abilities will be put to best use. Luis Suarez is someone who constantly drops deep to collect the ball and often when this happen, Liverpool lack resources inside the box. Sturridge can be considered to be a ‘natural striker’ and this is what Liverpool have missed ever since Fernando Torres was sold to Chelsea.

Daniel Sturridge was clearly frustrated with the lack of opportunities in London. There is no doubt that first team football was the most tempting factor in the Liverpool project, and it is this that is Liverpool’s biggest weapon in the transfer market over their rivals.

Sturridge is an exciting young talent who is yet to realise his full potential, or indeed showcase it with a run of appearances. Liverpool suits Daniel perfectly given his lack of first team opportunities, while Liverpool fans will be more than happy to have anyone in the team who can specialise in putting balls into the back of the net.

 

The Chelsea Perspective

Daniel Sturridge can best be described as an enigma. The ex City man signed for Chelsea a few years ago and was a well regarded youth prospect. He had already exhibited his skill and his tear away pace on a few occasions in the sky blue. In the beginning of his Chelsea career, chances were few and far between, but ‘Studge’ did his best with the limited opportunities, most notably with his contribution to the FA Cup victory under Ancelotti. In the next season, he again suffered on the bench as the senior strikers like Drogba, Anelka and Kalou hogged playing time. In the second half of the season however, Sturridge had his best time at Chelsea, ironically, at Bolton.At the Reebok he got on the scoresheet on a number of occasions as Coyle’s team shocked everyone with their excellent football and good results. The performances with the Wanderers put Sturridge in the limelight and he was given a starting spot under AVB.

Daniel Sturridge Chelsea

Sturridge found chances hard to come by at Stamford Bridge (Photo: chelseamashup.com)

He continued his goodform and scored a number of goals from his wide right starting position. He cemented his reputation as a talented and quick forward with a predatory instinct. As AVB was sacked and Di Matteo took charge, Sturridge saw his chances decreasing and not without good reason. The goals had dried up, and his perceived arrogance turned fans against him. His on-field selfishness didn’t help his case either. His repeated requests to play through the middle were also ignored as Drogba led Chelsea to a memorable Champions League triumph. Forward to the current season, and Sturridge found himself behind Fernando Torres in the pecking order and his deficiencies were put firmly in focus.

The enigma named Sturridge represents yet another wasted talent at Chelsea. He had the potential to succeed and showed flashes of brilliance, but sadly, due to a combination of factors, couldn’t establish himself at the bridge. His lax attitude and selfish play certainly didn’t endear him to the fans and his managers. As his progress as a player stalled, a move was imminent. Liverpool represents an opportunity for the man, and as a Chelsea fan, one can only wish him luck.

As far as what Chelsea may have lost, one cannot complain. The player’s form went down eventually,and though a case may be made for backing a young man, the return simply wasn’t forthcoming with Daniel Sturridge. Leaving the future alone, even in the present, his inability to provide decent back up to Torres has been a crucial factor in his exit. As far as the rumoured fee of £12 million is concerned, any Blues fan would be pleased with that figure.

Sturridge’s exit also comes at a good time as Chelsea have acted quickly as well, moving in for Newcastle’s Senegalese striker Demba Ba, for £5 million lesser than what Sturridge is costing Liverpool. Demba Ba can compete and push for a first team spot with Torres, something Sturridge was failing to accomplish.

Verdict

With the transfer of Daniel Sturridge to Merseyside, it’s a matter of perspective as to who suffered the loss or who stood to gain from this 12 million move, Chelsea or Liverpool? It’s undoubted that Sturridge is a young, talented player that has proven to be Premier League worthy. Sturridge’s loan spell at Bolton as well as his time at Chelsea after that has proven his goal scoring capabilities as well as his ability to provide assists. Standing at 6’2″, and having age on his side, a fine left foot, pace and trickery vital in his game, Sturridge seems an ideal target for any team.

From the view of a neutral, it seems that Liverpool have more to gain with this transfer. Liverpool’s season so far has deviated from what was planned. With Borini unable to settle in quickly and out injured, Liverpool have lacked the resources up front to force an impact on their opponents. In the past season as well, it has been seen that Suarez has lacked support up front. For the price that Liverpool have paid for the young England international, Sturridge seems to be quite the bargain that could fill the hole in Brendan Rodger’s team.

Liverpool now possess a promising partnership of Suarez and Sturridge up front. This could only spell excellent news for Liverpool as they now have two pacey forwards. Both have their respective sets of skill, and a left foot-right foot striker combination which could prove lethal. Sturridge is also capable of playing down the wings, an aspect which Liverpool could use some help in. The Suarez-Sturridge partnership can help both the players’ games, with both players complimenting each other. With Sturridge in the team, Suarez can drop into a deeper role when ever he feels the need while Sturridge occupies a more center role. Alternately, Suarez can retain his place up front while Sturridge operates on the flanks working the assist-angle. Another key factor that Sturridge will carry with him to Anfield is his ever present attacking intent. This factor is vastly important and needed in Liverpool’s play.

Overall, Sturridge adds an extra dimension in Liverpool’s play with his versatility. This smart signing by Rodger’s could be the defining aspect in rest of Liverpool’s campaign.

From Chelsea’s perspective, this transfer only seems like the loss of a talented young player who is in desperate need of playing time. But Chelsea will soon to have replaced striker with striker with Demba Ba being given permission to talk to the London club. In that sphere, Chelsea have made sure that they do not fall short in the number of strikers in their squad. As an added bonus, Chelsea will earn a profit of £4.5 million amongst the two transfers. With the soon arrival of a far more experienced striker and a tiny profit made from all of this, Chelsea will claim to have covered their bases and see this as a positive move for the club.

The transfer of Daniel Sturridge will have a large impact on Liverpool’s season. As for Chelsea, with their own transfers, they seemed to have covered their losses. This transfer won’t seem to affect Chelsea much but will have a drastic impact on Liverpool. As for losers and winners, Liverpool can take the prize for the winner in this transfer but Chelsea are by no means the losers.

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