The news today may not be surprising, but it still can’t help but be a little sad. It always is, when a long-serving player leaves, even if their role has become limited and it has been clear that they would be moving for some time.
Such is the case today with Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno, with the club confirming that the duo will not be offered new deals and will officially depart the club when their contracts expire at the end of the month.
“The most important words to say to these two remarkable players is ‘thank you’,” manager Jürgen Klopp said when the club made the announcement. “Without them we wouldn’t be the team and club we are in this moment.”
Sturridge joined Liverpool all the way back in January of 2013 in a £12M deal and was a key part of the club’s title challenge in 2013-14, but derailed his career just as he was developing into the star striker many expected him to become.
In total, Sturridge made 160 appearances for the Reds and scored 67 goals across seven seasons, and though his contributions this year were minor, a goal in the autumn to salvage a point against Chelsea was one of the season’s best.
“Daniel has earned the right to be considered a modern-day Liverpool great, I would think,” Klopp noted. “He came to the club while we were trying to re-establish ourselves. Some of the goals he has scored for Liverpool were so important.
“What maybe is missed on the outside of the club by many is what a great leader Daniel is in our dressing room. He has been great with many of the younger players also, so he has been so important to our progression here.”
Moreno arrived in 2014 as one of football’s most promising young fullbacks, and his early displays showed promise combined with a high level of physical and technical skill. At times he struggled for consistency, but promise remains.
As with Sturridge, he’s also a player whose career at Liverpool was hampered by injury—he was starting and in the form of his career to begin the 2017-18 season before an injury gave Andy Robertson a chance to win the starting job.
“Alberto is a person whose personality is reflected in how he plays,” Klopp said. “Full of life, full of energy, always positive. I know this season and the end of the last, maybe the minutes he would have wanted and deserved were not there.
“But his contribution did not diminish. How he was in training kept the entire group on their toes. Albie is world class and I know he will be back in the Spain national team in the not too distant future.
“I wish both players nothing but success and joy wherever their journey takes them next. Whoever has them next will be so lucky to have these outstanding personalities in their ranks.
“We will miss them of course, but we can say farewell with the best words possible: Guys, you leave as European Champions.”