Over the weekend, The Mirror reported that out-of-favor Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was eyeing a move away from Anfield in January. Sturridge is reportedly concerned that his lack of regular playing time with the club will cause him to miss out on selection for the England squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup. Rather than stewing on the Liverpool bench, Sturridge can show his talents with a larger role elsewhere. Plenty of betting sites out there will tell you that the chances of Sturridge making Gareth Southgate’s 23-man World Cup squad are looking rather slim at the moment.
When asked about the idea of selling the prized striker this season, however, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that he is not for sale. “It’s a story, but I am not really interested in stories,” he said. “The situation with the player is completely okay. I can imagine a player with his quality is not happy he is not starting all the time. Really I can imagine that. But at the moment we need all our players.”
Klopp is right about that, as LFC is set to hit a busy part of the schedule. Liverpool will have to contend with midweek Champions League affairs in addition to the occasional midweek Premier League tilt. The Reds will hit the pitch three times before November 29, which means Klopp may need to shuffle his starting XI in order to keep everybody fresh.
While his playing time has been spotty, Sturridge has still been effective when on the pitch. The 28-year-old has bagged three goals with a pair of assists in eight appearances in all competitions on the season. Southgate went on the record saying he chose against selecting Sturridge for friendlies against Germany and Brazil earlier this month due to the player’s lack of playing time.
Klopp went on to say, “We have [lots of games], even if he now feels a little different. There is one-and-a-half months to go before the window opens and I don’t think for a second about things like this. There are so many games before then and I need everyone.”
Liverpool have also had to deal with their fair share of injury issues so far this season, so there is no telling when Sturridge may be thrust into a starting role once again. Sturridge may be currently backing up Roberto Firmino as the club’s first choice striker, but Sturridge will get ample opportunities to prove himself over the next several weeks with so many games on the schedule.
While Sturridge has an eye for goal, there’s no shortage of striking talent in England at the moment. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford would appear to be locks to make England’s World Cup side, barring injury. That leaves just one or two spots open for the likes of Sturridge, Tammy Abraham, Jermain Defoe or Sturridge’s current Liverpool teammate, Dominic Solanke.
Finding a new home may be in Sturridge’s best individual long-term interests, but it’s easy to see why Liverpool would be against the notion of selling him, especially in the middle of the season when it may be difficult to find a suitable replacement. For now, it looks as though Sturridge will have to make the most of what scarce opportunities arise with his current club.