At one time, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was an indispensable player. Sturridge was a deadly marksman and excelled in Liverpool’s attack. Alongside Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez, the striker was phenomenal. But that time period seems longer ago than it actually is.
Under the management of Brendan Rodgers in 2013-14, Sturridge and Suarez scored a combined 55 goals in all competitions. Yet, Sturridge has never regained that incredible goalscoring form. Playing under Jurgen Klopp, Sturridge has regularly fought injury and poor form. His best season following the 2013-14 goalfest was the 2015-16 season. Sturridge scored 13 goals in 25 games in all competitions. That season coincided with the hiring of Klopp. It has all been downhill.
Sturridge has never truly fit into the German manager’s playing style. He isn’t the pressing type and his pace and killer instinct do not fit the manager’s tactics. Despite scoring four goals this season, Sturridge is currently most remembered for his sitter miss against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League. It was a miss that could have resulted in a much different final scoreline had it been converted.
Last season, it looked like the striker had finally come to the end of the road at Liverpool. He was loaned to West Brom, but injuries curtailed his time at the Hawthorns. Back at Liverpool during the preseason, Sturridge did enough to stick around and earn a place in Klopp’s team.
The striker’s Liverpool contract will expire in June 2019 and thus far, there are no signs of a renewal brewing. Sturridge is in his seventh season at the club and it looks like it is time to move on. Despite being hungry for a new deal and hoping to earn another contract, Sturridge looks destined to leave unless he finds a rich vein of goalscoring form.
However, that in itself brings a bit of a dilemma for the club. If Sturridge suddenly improves in form and finishes the season with double-digit goals, he could be lured away by another team on a free transfer. Liverpool would be left with nothing. The Reds could re-sign Sturridge, but his current contract pays £6.24 million a season. That is £120,000 per week. There is no guarantee Sturridge will stay fit if he does ink a new deal and that is a lot of money sink into an ageing striker who may have seen his best days.
Liverpool have some big decisions to make. Four players will see their current contracts expire at the end of the season. Sturridge, James Miler, Alberto Moreno, and Lazar Markovic will have their deals expire. Of the four, Milner has proven he is worth a new deal and Moreno — despite his faults and history — is good cover.
Markovic will be gladly let go, but Sturridge is one that the jury seems still out on.