No one likes being pushed down the pecking order, and Daniel Sturridge is no different, finding himself deep on the Chelsea bench, giving Liverpool an opening to sign a player Brendan Rodgers has wanted all summer, waiting for an opportunity to open up.
Sturridge was one of Chelsea’s best performers last season, scoring 12 goals and adding 5 assists, being their most consistent attacked during the Andre Villas-Boas term while Didier Drogba was injured and getting old and Fernando Torres couldn’t get anything happen for him. Sturridge did play more as a winger last season for both managers, but gradually lost his place in the lineup as the season moved on into its crucial stages.
Now, with the new arrivals, it looks like Sturridge isn’t in Di Matteo’s plans for the lineup, despite his breakthrough season for the Blues last year. Fernando Torres is guaranteed the opening striker slot, while Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are the creative force behind him, which has worked out pretty well in terms of points and goals after the first two matches. There’s also Oscar, who has come on twice as a sub while Di Matteo still tries to figure out how to use him more efficiently.
That might leave Sturridge looking for a way out. We haven’t really heard from the 22 year old, who scored two goals for the Great Britain team in the 2012 Olympic games, but it’ll be safe to assume that he isn’t pleased with the downgrade in his positing at the club. A chance to play for Liverpool and get more playing time (say, instead of Stewart Downing on the wing) might be a very attractive option for Sturridge, hoping to get first team football as quickly as possible.
The question is – Are Chelsea selling? If they manage to get another attacking player (Still chasing Schurrle, for example), then the way out for Sturridge is clear – via purchase or via loan. Marko Marin is still out injured, but he might be ahead of Sturridge in the rotation as well. Liverpool don’t have a short squad, but it will probably easier there for Sturridge to stand out, especially with the scoring problems the reds have been having last season and the opening weekend this season.