Liverpool’s first (and hopefully, not the only) big-money acquisition of the summer resulted in Mohamed Salah bringing some much needed quality and depth to the wings. While there have been noises of Liverpool pursuing a big-ticket starting striker this window, there’s not been much substance behind those rumors, which lends credence to the theory that Klopp’s default setup in the coming year will involve Roberto Firmino as the false nine.
It’s a situation that also resurrects the awkward question of what Daniel Sturridge’s role will be going forward (literally as well as temporally). Sturridge made some key contributions in the final stretch of 2016-17, and the manager has thus far given no express indication that the player is not in his plans. But Sturridge speculation is practically a cottage industry unto itself, and conditions are once again conducive to theorizing about what Sturridge needs.
The latest iteration involves former Red and current pundit Jason McAteer offering that, while still possessing an abundance of talents, Sturridge might be best served with a change of scenery. In particular, a change of scenery to France, where Paris St.-Germain are looking for additional firepower (never mind the fact that PSG have not thus far expressed any concrete interest in the Liverpool man). Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, McAteer had the following to say:
“I think people get sick of the conversation about why he isn’t playing. It’s the constant intrigue of whether it’s down to Daniel not feeling he’s 100% right or Klopp making tactical decisions based on opponents.
I’ve heard West Ham want to sign him. But my personal opinion is that Daniel would thrive at somewhere like PSG. Playing with superstars like Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria would suit his game. In France, he would also be out of the constant spotlight.”
Setting aside the questions about Sturridge’s health issues (which are beyond well-trod territory), McAteer does rightfully note that the guessing game about why Sturridge is absent for a particular match has gotten rather tiresome, though that is probably more of an issue among supporters than it is for the player or his manager.
McAteer’s comments are unlikely to precede any real conversations between Liverpool and PSG about Sturridge, especially since the French club are likely monitoring the Cristiano Ronaldo situation instead. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Sturridge conversation will die down anytime soon, especially if more links emerge between Liverpool and other proven strikers.