For so long, England striker Daniel Sturridge has been an enigma of a footballer. The 28-year-old is a superb finisher, with good technical ability, and the arrogance that many great players possesses.
However, the striker’s ego has maybe stopped him working harder to become a better player. Sturridge’s Reds career has been blighted by injuries and poor recent form.
His pre-season form has seen the striker come in from out in the cold and maybe back into the long-term thinking of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Looked like Sturridge’s Reds career was over
Sturridge has struggled to stay injury-free in recent seasons at Liverpool. It looks as if the striker’s career on Merseyside was finished when in January he left the Reds for West Brom on loan.
When he arrived back at the club, the striker had a little over a year left on his contract, which is now less than a year left on his deal at Anfield. There are no planned talks to extend his Reds deal, but his pre-season form may just change that scenario.
Needs to stay injury-free
When Sturridge has been fully fit for Liverpool, he has looked a quality player. His technical and finishing ability has shone brightly. The only problem is that he seems to be made of China.
Like so many top-flight footballers, a once-promising career has been hindered by almost constant injury problems. Last season injury problems meant he started just seven Premier League games for Liverpool and West Brom, making a further eight appearances from the substitutes bench.
The most top-flight appearances the striker has made in a Liverpool shirt remains 2013/14 when he 29 appearances and scored 21 times alongside Uruguayan star Luis Suarez. Since then it has been a story of long-term and short-term niggles preventing him from playing regular first-team football. If he could stay injury-free, he could maybe revive his flagging career.
Faces a difficult challenge getting into the Reds team
Sturridge may have played a number of pre-season games, but he faces a big challenge to get back into the Reds team when everybody is back from World Cup duty and fit to play.
Last season’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are almost set in stone as the team’s first choice three. The Reds have also brought in Swiss international star Xherdan Shaqiri, who can also occupy one of those front three positions. That is without mentioning highly-rated England youngster Dominic Solanke.
No doubt the Reds will have a lot of games to play in the new season, so Sturridge may get a run out here and there. However, it is hard to see the former Chelsea forward ever getting into the team ahead of the now fab three. Sturridge probably should have moved away from Liverpool last summer. Even if he does play some first-team football at Anfield, it seems unlikely that he will play enough games to see his lucrative contract renewed.
If Daniel Sturridge does turn things around on Merseyside, then he will have had to have enjoyed one hell of a campaign in a Reds shirt.
Can Daniel Sturridge revive his Liverpool career?