Sturridge and Suarez: one of the greatest strike duos this side of the millennium. Yet one spent last season getting relegated with West Brom while the other won the double in Spain for Catalonian giants, Barcelona.
Once upon a time, Daniel Sturridge was one half of Liverpool’s deadly duo SAS (Sturridge and Suarez). He was the man to be, with a whole nation copying his trademark ‘Sturridge dance’ things were looking pretty swell for the Birmingham born goal scorer, so where did it all go wrong? And is there any future for him at Liverpool?
Sturridge moved to Liverpool on January 2 2013, where he hit the grounding running. The Englishman scored seven minutes into his debut against Mansfield in the FA Cup and never looked back. He also scored in his Premier League debut, netting against bitter rivals Manchester United after coming on as a half-time substitute. He also managed to score in each of his first three games for Liverpool, a feat which hadn’t been accomplished by a Reds player in 39 years. He finished the season with ten goals in 14 appearances, a stark difference to the first half of the season at Chelsea, where he managed just one goal in seven games.
The next season was where Sturridge marked his name in the history books for Liverpool Football Club. In an incredible season which culminated in second place for Brendan Rodgers’ squad, Sturridge scored an impressive 24 goals in 33 games in all competitions, and a cool 21 of them came in the Premier League. Thanks to his and Luis Suarez’s combined tally of 52 goals in the league, Liverpool finished with 101 goals in all, the third-highest total scored in a Premier League season.
Four years later and this fairy tale appears to have turned into a nightmare. Sturridge has been plagued by injuries, changing of managers, and stiff competition from the long list of talented strikers on Liverpool’s books, forcing him to go out on loan for some much-needed game time. Even with that chance Sturridge managed to get injured six games into his loan and spent the rest of his time watching West Brom getting relegated from the physio’s table.
Don’t write him off just yet, there is still a redemption story to be made out of this. The former Manchester City youth player has come back with a bang in pre-season, setting the gauntlet for the likes of Divock Origi and Danny Ings. With three goals in two games, Sturridge is hoping that his ring rust has been washed away. Although, Klopp would need some persuading to relegate Brazilian star Firminho to the bench, a fit Daniel Sturridge will definitely provide extra competition to arguably last season’s best-attacking line.
Keep him fully fit, stacked with confidence, and a capable striking partner, then we might just be looking at the new SAS (Sturridge and Salah).