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Saturday, 01 December 2012

Liverpool: Would Chelsea's Sturridge be a good buy for Liverpool?

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With Brendan Rodgers on the hunt for attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window, it seems he has set his sights on Daniel Sturridge. Several reliable sources have linked the Chelsea player with a £12 million pound move to Liverpool in the January transfer window. But is that a wise transfer for Rodgers?

The thought of Liverpool acquiring a young, talented, England international may seem appealing at first, but there are many reasons the transfer won’t work out. Sturridge is the wrong fit for Rodgers’ system, he is too expensive and his quality is not convincing.

Rodgers' team is undeniably in need of striking power, but the addition of Sturridge would be a mistake. One of the requirements to play in Rodgers’ team is work ethic. All players must contribute to the team’s defensive high pressing style.

Daniel-sturridgeLast season, in Sturridge’s limited opportunities deployed on the wings for Chelsea, he did not display the work ethic required for Rodgers’ high pressing. Instead he was guilty of leaving his fullback woefully exposed and without cover.

However, with the player being very public on his insistence to be played through the center, he may escape the chance to be a liability on the wings. But it seems odd that Rodgers would be interested in a player who is strongly reminiscent of Fabio Borini; not quite sure he is striker, not quite sure he is a winger.

It is hard to envision a clear purpose of signing the Chelsea attacker. There is difficultly speculating on the manager’s thoughts because there are so many options available with Sturridge. And that may just be the point. The player is versatile.

Perhaps if Sturridge arrives at Anfield, Rodgers will change his formation to suit two strikers (as we have seen before in games). Sturridge could work as a foil for Suarez; offering increased finishing ability without sacrificing the pace in the team. If the manager decides not to alter his preferred formation, he could conceivably just be so confident in his debating abilities as to convince Sturridge to continue playing on the wings.

The final possibility Sturridge presents is the role of Suarez's back-up. It is often said that top sides need four sufficient strikers (think of both teams from Manchester). But those teams play with two up front. Liverpool in contrast, only have room for one lone striker in the starting XI. Certainly the conventional four strikers required in the squad are not necessary.

Undoubtedly other options are definitely needed to supplement Suarez and Borini as recognised strikers in the squad, but acknowledging this is a club with limited funds is important. £12 million pounds is an astronomical fee for a player not guaranteed a start for a team with a tight budget. If the intention is to play him through the centre, there must be more affordable options.

The most troubling aspect I have resolving to myself is the quality of the player himself. Disregarding his inclination of selfish play, he cannot even get into the current Chelsea team. Torres hasn’t scored in almost 11 hours of play! And Sturridge can’t surpass him in the team sheet. Yes, I know Roman Abramovich has an obsession with playing Torres (just ask Di Matteo), but if Sturridge had the quality to score consistently, he would be getting minutes.

The transfer of Sturridge is ultimately Brendan Rodgers’ decision. He must use the winter transfer window to seek bargain deals as he continues to shape and improve the squad. He would be wise to learn from previous Liverpool managers who have spent big in the winter on English strikers. Maybe the mooted fee does not rival the folly of the incredible sum required for the transfer of Andy Carroll, but the transfer would be just as big a mistake.  

In the end, if Liverpool go forward with the transfer, I do hope Daniel Sturridge proves me wrong.

Calling all Liverpool fans: Would you welcome Sturridge to Anfield? Do you think he has the skills to succeed at Anfield or do you agree with Dave? Who would you like to see Rodgers sign in January? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.


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Antony Melvin



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