West Ham, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Southampton. The past month has seen one English club after another linked with a January move for Daniel Sturridge. Some of the rumours have involved a permanent deal, some of them have suggested a loan could be on the cards.
Most fans, though, are convinced that Sturridge isn’t going anywhere. At least not in January. And given there’s yet to be a solidly-sourced rumour linking him with a move away, that seems a safe assumption. It’s also one that former Red John Aldridge is fully on board with.
“You need backup if you’re going to have a serious go at the top four and possibly the league,” Aldridge noted this week in the Liverpool Echo. “You have to have top players in your squad who can change games and he comes into that category.
“The situation can easily change. A slight injury to a forward and all of a sudden Daniel is in the team and if he scores a few he can take on the mantle. That’s the way football is. You have to have cover so there is no way that Jurgen Klopp would let him go—even if he wanted to go.”
That last part is key. No matter the rumours, or the talk, or the speculation, short of Sturridge becoming a massively disruptive presence—something he has never shown any signs of being at the club—there’s no reason he would be moved in January.
Not with Liverpool striving for, at minimum, a top four finish and perhaps even more. Not when Sadio Mané is set to be gone for a month with the AFCON coming up early in 2017. Not when an injury or dip in form could so quickly change the situation for everyone.
If the summer rolls around and Sturridge still isn’t in the club’s plans as a regular starter the situation changes. At that point, a sale starts to seem entirely possible and any rumour would seem far more plausible. For now, though, those rumours are nothing more than needy noise.
“You can understand if Daniel is frustrated and he wants to play,” Aldridge added. “But it doesn’t work like that. The club comes first and you have to be professional. If you have three players in front of you who are all scoring goals then you can’t get a place—it’s as simple as that.”