For all the talk this summer that Daniel Sturridge is “like a brand new signing”, we haven’t seen much of him on the pitch. Manager Jürgen Klopp has made it pretty clear that his preferred attacking formation doesn’t quite include Sturridge, but he still scored consecutively against Huddersfield and Maribor, a vital piece of the momentum currently building for the Reds.
An unfortunate turn of events for Sturridge, to be sure.
England manager Gareth Southgate himself said earlier this year that he hadn’t picked Sturridge for the England friendlies last month because of his lack of playing time leading up to the break. A decision that doesn’t bode well for the squad selection for next summer’s World Cup.
Rumours have sprung up from The Mirror’s Darren Lewis that Sturridge is now looking to leave Liverpool in January in search of a more reliable starting position in an attempt to get himself on that team sheet. Lewis also goes on to claim that sources close to the player are hoping that Liverpool will put a reasonable price on him when the transfer window reopens in the new year.
Considering Sturridge was an unused sub in the matches against West Ham and Southampton despite scoring against Huddersfield and Maribor, one can’t really blame him for potentially looking for more consistent playing time - especially for a World Cup squad doing quite well going into the tournament.
A loan is also a potential solution, although Liverpool rejected such an offer from Paris Saint-Germaine this time last year. Obviously a loan would be ideal, but football and Liverpool don’t usually deal with ideals and we’re often left disappointed.
There were plenty of rumours going into the summer regarding Sturridge’s spot in the squad - whether it was time for us to cut him loose or for him to find a less strenuous team to play with. He’s managed his fitness quite well since being declared “a new signing” so it’s a travesty to not see him utilized. Although Liverpool have gotten lucky in the success of Mo Salah so far, it’d be hard to give up the idea of having such a prestigious finisher on the bench, ready and waiting to do some more damage if needed.
It’s the age old question, though. How long can a player sit and wait to play, especially with the World Cup around the corner?
The window is still over a month away, though, and this is likely just stirring the pot because there’s been enough good news for Liverpool lately.