It’s no secret that there is interest in Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, stoked no doubt by the player’s inability to nail down a consistent spot in the Merseysiders’ starting eleven. It’s an absence that on the one hand has been quite understandable - Klopp seemed to have found a formula that served the club quite well during its unbeaten run - but on the other hand was surrounded with question marks about the player’s long term future at Anfield.
Various observers have chimed in on Sturridge’s importance to this squad’s prospects, including most recently Liverpool legend Ian Rush, who called the striker “probably the most gifted finisher [Liverpool] have.” But you can’t keep a good rumor down, certainly not this close to January. Liverpool’s upcoming opponents West Ham United have been identified before as a potential Sturridge suitor, and though those links have been shot down almost as quickly as they materialized, and despite there being some likely financial obstacles to any such pursuit, the whispers persist.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilić - who is under so much pressure at the moment you might want to keep him away from a naked flame - was asked recently about a potential move for Sturridge, and did nothing to quell the rumor.
“He’s one of the biggest talents, he’s a great player. The talent is there, the touch, the finishing, everything is great,” Bilić said. “The only thing that’s stopped him being regular for club and country are the injuries.”
Sounds about right and it just so happens a lot of Liverpool supporters feel the same away about Sturridge. But what about West Ham’s interest specifically, Slaven?
“We’re always there in contention,” noted Bilić. “Most of the time it’s absolutely not true, 95 per cent of the time. But you’re asking me about Sturridge and I have no problem about that. All the clubs are thinking about him because he is that kind of player.”
Can’t really argue with that last bit either, but still kind of wish you hadn’t said it out loud. Not that it ultimately matters a great deal. Jürgen Klopp and Co. have shown themselves to be nothing if not decisive in transfer matters, and if the intent is truly to retain Sturridge’s services, it’s unlikely that Bilić’s words will tip the scales in favor of a move to the capital.