EPL 2016/17: Daniel Sturridge to leave Liverpool in January; Stoke and West Ham interested
Sturridge has seen himself fall down the pecking order as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp prefers to play Roberto Firmino upfront alongside Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane forming the deadly front three of The Reds and the attacking trio has 16 goals and 10 assists between them which justify Klopp’s decision. Also, there are rumours that Jurgen Klopp considers Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi as better team players than the 27-year-old.
Sturridge is unhappy with the situation and might consider leaving the club in the upcoming transfer window, according to English paper, The Daily Mirror. The former Chelsea player has made 8 appearances in the league this season and most of them were as a substitute. He hasn’t found the back of the net in the Premier League but has scored 4 goals in 2 games in the EFL cup.
A number of clubs are keeping close tabs on Sturridge including West Ham and Stoke City who are willing to pay £28 million and afford the 27-year-old‘s £120,000-a-week wages. West Ham are keen on signing a prolific goal scorer and have identified Sturridge as the player they need. Sturridge playing ahead of talisman Dimitri Payet would be a formidable attack for The Hammers and the club might also offload Simone Zaza and Gokhan Tore in January should a deal for Sturridge materialise.
Stoke City are also keen on signing the England international but Liverpool might not let Sturridge go in January. With Sadio Mane set to leave to take part in the African Cup of Nations and Danny Ings out injured, Jurgen Klopp would certainly want to retain the services of Sturridge.
The 27-year-old's presence in the squad adds much-needed strength in depth which is crucial in the title race and without the shadow a doubt, Sturridge is the best finisher in the Liverpool squad. He has racked up 58 goals and 20 assists in 102 appearances for The Reds and his fitness has improved massively in the last six months. With the club having a genuine chance to win the league this season, Klopp would think twice about letting a player of Sturridge’s caliber leave the club.
The former Chelsea striker recently scored in England’s 3-0 win over Scotland and England manager Gareth Southgate hailed Sturridge as a team-player ahead of England’s friendly against Spain.
“He is a goal-scorer, a talented player and his mentality to working with us has been excellent,” Southgate said. “Every striker has a slightly different way of playing and he has some brilliant footwork. He likes to drop into different areas of the field. He works for the team, he wants to be part of the team. All goal-scorers are slightly individual but I don’t see any more of that [selfishness] in Daniel than any other forward.”
(Video courtesy: Liverpool FC YouTube channel)