When thinking of Daniel Sturridge, the first question that comes to mind is “What if?”.
In 2013-14, his 22 goals in 29 games alongside the equally potent Luis Suarez almost won Liverpool the Premier League. At the very least, they were the most exciting team to watch in the country, and the England international was at the heart of that. However, the injuries have piled up ever since, and it therefore comes as no surprise that Liverpool will be releasing him this summer. Although questions remain over his fitness, there is no denying his talent. As such, Sturridge could still do a job in the Premier League provided his body is looked after.
There are plenty of clubs in England’s top tier that are lacking goals up front. Newcastle and Everton are two prime examples of that. The former’s top scorer was Ayoze Perez with 13… other than Salomon Rondon, who bagged 12, their next top scorer was Fabian Schär with four. The Toffees, meanwhile, often played Richarlison up front as a striker despite him being a winger. Although 14 goals is a decent haul, he has often looked better on the flank cutting in. There are other cases of sides in need of a new striker throughout the Premier League but it is Newcastle who the bookmakers feel are most likely to sign him.
Yes, Sturridge has struggled with injuries and has been unable to put together a good run in the starting XI in the past few years, but he knows where the back of the net is. In his first four seasons at Anfield, he bagged 54 goals in 92 games, with a ratio of over a goal every two games. That is impressive by anyone’s standards, no matter the team or the league.
A goalscorer who knows where the back of the net is is like gold dust, especially in this current ultra-competitive transfer market. Usually, such players are often quickly snapped up by the top sides, leaving no chance for those just below. However, in Sturridge’s case, the elite would unlikely give him much thought due to his injury record, hence leaving him as a realistic possibility for the sides below.
With him available on a free transfer, the risk is minimal. It seems likely that Sturridge would take up a pay-as-you-play deal in order to prove that his body can still cope with the demanding nature of the Premier League, meaning that his signing would not break the bank of those teams who can not compete with huge budgets. If he plays and scores as he has done in the past, then he will be worth every penny. If he continues to spend so much time on the sidelines, then his new club could cut their losses and part ways. It is important to be clever when looking at new signings and such opportunities do not often come around. Everton, Newcastle and any other clubs around the middle of the table will only improve with a player who not only knows how to score but also knows how to win.