For most Liverpool fans, life for the club without Daniel Sturridge has seemed the status quo for going on three seasons now. Injuries and an apparent physical decline linked to those injuries first saw him sat out more often than he was available and lately have seen him dropped to third on the depth chart even when he is fit.
It’s been a sad progression for a striker who was once arguably the best in England, but the new reality is that if Sturridge wants playing time as he has often claimed to, he must move on, and his role at Liverpool is now such that the club would sanction his departure. Reds legend John Barnes, though, doesn’t want it to happen.
“I would like to think that he should stick around,” Barnes told HITC earlier this week. “How is he going to move? First of all, someone has to make an offer for him, someone has to sign him and pay his salary. Daniel Sturridge is a fantastic player. If he is fit and motivated, I would like to see him stay at Liverpool.”
If rumours are to be believed, some of them seemingly well sourced, who might pay for him would be West Ham, who could be preparing for a sale of Andy Carroll to help offset both Sturridge’s transfer fee and to pay for his significant wages. Given the Premier League’s spending power, it isn’t especially far fetched.
At least not if the club believe the 27-year-old can, with sufficient playing time, rediscover something of his old form. If he can—if they believe that he can—a £25M transfer fee and wages north of £100k wouldn’t be an insurmountable or even unreasonable price for a club like West Ham to pay for the England international.
Ideally, perhaps, a consistent run of playing time at Liverpool would see the player rediscover his that form at Anfield, but with two years left on his contract this summer, and if he’s still languishing on Liverpool’s bench at the end of the season, and if West Ham believe they can get the best out of him, then a deal will be done.
“What I would like to see,” added Barnes, “is a fit and motivated Daniel Sturridge, and in those circumstances, of course I would like to see him stay.” Sadly, those circumstances look exceptionally unlikely to become the reality of the situation.