A closer look at Daniel Sturridge and how injuries restricted striker to 'unfulfilled talent' label

Liverpool supporters have been pretty lucky to watch some top forwards represent the club over the years.

The likes of Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah have all given us memories to last a lifetime.

However, had Daniel Sturridge been able to stay fit when he played for Liverpool, he quite easily could have joined the aforementioned list.

Today, we thought that we would take a look back at the Englishman's time as a Red.

Arrival from Chelsea

Liverpool signed Sturridge from Chelsea for a transfer fee of €15 million back in January 2013.

The forward had not shown much at Stamford Bridge (24 goals in 96 games). But, Sturridge showed early on that he was a seriously talented player.

Between January-May 2013, the forward scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 16 appearances.

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool's manager at the time, claimed that Sturridge simply needed more of an opportunity to showcase his talent.

“I just think it’s always been a case of opportunity with Daniel,” Rodgers said back in May 2013, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“It was always going to be difficult for him at Chelsea. They had Didier Drogba and he was one of the best in the game. He needed a run of games and he’s got that with us.

“People have said that he is stepping in really well for Luis, but I didn’t bring him in to be a substitute.

“I brought him in to play at Liverpool because I believe he can get goals."

The 2013-14 campaign

There is no denying that we saw the absolute best of Sturridge during the 2013-14 campaign. The Englishman found the back of the net 25 times and secured 10 assists in 33 appearances.

Sturridge's performances were a key reason why Liverpool challenged for the Premier League title in that particular season.

The Reds finished two points behind Manchester City. Without Sturridge, Liverpool would not have got close to the Citizens.

We will never forget what he was able to achieve in those nine months.

As you can see in the footage below, Sturridge scored all sorts of goals throughout the 2013-14 campaign.

2014 until the end

Sturridge was never able to recapture the form that he showed during the 2013-14 campaign.

The man could not stay fit. The moment Sturridge recovered from an injury, he would pick up another knock.

Back in October 2015, Rodgers was sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. However, things did not change for Sturridge. If anything, the situation got worse for him.

Klopp put together a forward line of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Salah. Sturridge ultimately became a squad player.

The striker ended up departing Liverpool and joining Trabzonspor in the summer of 2019. Sturridge scored 68 goals and assisted his teammates on 26 occasions in 160 appearances for the Reds.

There is no denying that the Englishman could have achieved more during his time at Anfield. He certainly had the talent.

Former Chelsea coach Paul Clement said the following about Sturridge to the Daily Mail back in January 2017: "I worked with him at Chelsea, and Daniel is a very talented player.

"If he can stay injury-free and get a consistent run in the team he is as good as any striker there is.

"He has fantastic pace, a good left foot, individual skill. He has just had problems with injuries.

"There is a lot of selfless work and mental strength involved in that style of high-intensity pressing game.

"But physically he can do what Jurgen Klopp wants from his strikers, he has the physical attributes.

"Liverpool have always had good front players and he is as good as any on his day."

But, as we have already pointed out, Sturridge did not live up to his potential. The striker now plays for Perth Glory in the A-League.

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