Daniel Sturridge’s attitude stinks, but there’s no denying he is one hell of a player. He’s capable of a goal on any stage, as proven in France and with *that* beauty in the Europa League Final. Therefore, it is surprising that the supposed ‘King Klopp’ doesn’t seem keen to make the England international his main centre-forward.
The Liverpool man has recently displayed his frustration in playing out-wide, in light of his two goals against Burton Albion.
“Everyone knows where I enjoy playing the most. I’m a player who plays on instinct, and in the middle I have clarity on movements… But when you are out wide, you have got to worry about different things.”
The ex-Chelsea man has a clear desire to play the leading role, with his attitude and persona saying that more than anything. Although injury has stalled his progression – if looked after properly – the England man could be the Premier League’s top goalscorer on a regular basis.
When the Liverpool striker played 29 games in the 2013/14 season, he netted 21 goals. Ok, he was helped by Luis Suarez, but the awareness of where the goal is something you can’t say Sturridge lacks.
Sturridge’s goal-to-game ratio is a clear strength in his game, so why deploy him as a winger when this is not utilising his strengths?
This is where the issue of Klopp comes in. It is clear that Klopp and Sturridge have differences in opinion, hence all the debate last season over Klopp doubting his fitness and where to play him. However, the real problem arises, due to the fact the German manager tends to favour the deployment of a ‘False 9’.
This can be seen in his days at Borussia Dortmund with Mario Gotze and Marco Reus – when Lewandowski wasn’t fit – and now at Liverpool with Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho. Yes, the Liverpool manager has said that he has no problem with Sturridge, and that playing him as a winger is not ‘fixed’. But, when Sturridge is available, it seems that the German would prefer to play Divock Origi over the Englishman(!). Granted, the Belgian is only 21 years of age, but his ability in front of goal is nowhere near to the level of his Liverpool colleague.
With just five goals in 17 league games, that is not a good enough return for a striker with the strongest hold on the ‘no.9’ shirt, at a club challenging for the top four.
Sturridge being played as the ‘main’ striker would offer the Reds far greater quality in the final third, exemplified when he had this role at Bolton, bagging eight goals in just 12 games. Bare in mind, the ex-Trotters man was not even helped by the likes of Coutinho and Firmino, who he should be starting with week-in-week-out.
The solution to such issue seems for the former Chelsea and Manchester City man to leave the Anfield club; he is not guaranteed his favoured position every week, due to Klopp’s preference of Origi and/or a ‘False 9’.
Playing devil’s advocate for a second, Arsenal would be the best bet for Sturridge; short on standout 9s – Olivier Giroud is clearly not a man who will win you the league. Coupled with Danny Welbeck’s fitness, which is about as reliable as a chocolate teapot, he’d be ideal.
For the sake of England and your own career, get yourself out of Merseyside, Sturridge.