It happened first at Manchester City; always the player on the fringe of regular first team football, but never quite getting that run. Then to Chelsea for what was probably an even more frustrating time, pushed out to the left to accommodate the misfiring Fernando Torres, but still bagging his portion of goals. Still the player craved the regular starting berth in his favoured central striking role, bursting with the belief that he could perform and deliver the goals. Eventually he was sold to Liverpool for what now looks like the paltry fee of around £12million. The Anfield club now sit happily on maximum points with both victories down to the goal scoring of Sturridge.
It was thought that a Liverpool side, shorn of the incandescent talents of Luis Suarez for the first chunk of the season, may struggle to score the goals to win games with Sturridge as the single point of attack. Instead, the young England striker has revelled in his increased responsibility, forming an exciting partnership with midfield prompters Aspas, and more especially Coutinho. It would of course be folly to say that Liverpool aren’t missing Suarez. For all his dark moods, the little Uruguayan would be a miss for any squad in the world. Sturridge’s goals however have rubbed a little soothing balm onto that open wound.
One is left to wonder why there is such a clamour for England to find a player to get the goals for the national time, to the extent that everybody’s favourite ex-Beetroot factory worker, Ricky Lambert is called up when well into his thirties. Sturridge’s early season form must surely be a pressing case for including nor only in the squad, but also the starting eleven as England approach crucial World Cup qualifiers. His sublime finish against Aston Villa, back in his home city of Birmingham, was the touch of a master marksman full of confidence and belief.
It’s probably just worth noting that Sturridge’s ex-club, Chelsea, are now trying to sign a striker that will, in all probability, replace the still misfiring Torres. Clearly, it’s not going to happen, but Blues fans should think for a minute how effective a goal scorer Sturridge would be the Chelsea’s coterie of ‘number tens’ proving opportunities for him. Sadly for Chelsea, with Sturridge having found respect and a home at Anfield, that’s very much now water under the Stamford Bridge.
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