Should Liverpool keep Daniel Sturridge?

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The striker’s contract is due to expire in the summer. Many fans are divided on whether to offer Daniel Sturridge a new contract or let him go for free.

So, what shall it be?

The England international has been at Liverpool for six years this month since January 2013. Yes, he has been injury prone, but he has also had some fine moments for the club.

If you cast your mind back to his debut for Liverpool in the FA Cup he scored against Mansfield Town in the 2-1 away win.

We all know he has an eye for goal. Sturridge scored some sensational goals from outside the penalty area. The one in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City several seasons ago was exquisite.

He also proved himself to be a very important member of the team in the 2013-2014 season when Liverpool finished 2nd and came agonisingly close to winning the title.

The Sturridge-Suarez partnership that season yielded a staggering total of 50 goals, the best in the division. Suarez managed 31 league goals, only bettered by the club’s Egyptian king Mo Salah who scored 32 last season, whilst Sturridge managed 21 Premier League goals.

Fans are quick to forget that on his day, he is a goal machine.

At the start of this season back in August, for 2018-2019 he started very brightly. He even scored a wonder goal back in October to keep Liverpool’s unbeaten streak intact.

It’s not like he’s not managed any goals at all. He’s scored some sublime goals, including a fine counter attacking goal when Liverpool played Arsenal off the park in their 4-0 victory in August 2017.

So, maybe a one-year contract extension would suit all parties? Sturridge, Klopp, Liverpool and the fans.

It would give him the vote of confidence he so desperately needs, in what is a vital crossroads in his career.

He has so far been overlooked by England manager Gareth Southgate. With Jamie Vardy announcing his international retirement, following a lack of game time, there are spaces in attack if Sturridge can get his form back.

But what does he add going forward?

Liverpool are blessed with Salah, Firmino and Mane, the attacking trident that has helped fuel Liverpool’s title challenge this season.

However, with the business end of the season fast approaching it is surely in manager Jurgen Klopp’s interest to hold on to both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge.

Both Origi and Sturridge have netted important goals this term, particularly the goal from Origi that won the Merseyside derby for Liverpool against Everton.

If injuries do strike, it’s better to have those attacking options on the bench to call upon.

If Klopp does plan to rest players before a big Champions League clash or a match against title rivals, it may be useful to shuffle his pack.

Meanwhile, fresh legs in the form of Sturridge and Origi could really cause some damage to teams in the final half an hour of a match.

Sturridge’s pace, long-range shooting, headers, means the team can utilise him at set pieces or on the edge of the penalty area.

He is a presence and a threat to any defence in the Premier League on his day.

The Verdict:

Sturridge is worth keeping at least between now and the end of the season, to assist the club’s title push.

Alongside Origi, having an extra goal threat is something any team chasing trophies needs.

In conjunction to this, the Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint. When called upon, Sturridge will be needed at some stage.

As for the new contract, the jury is out on that one until the end of the season. Then the club can decide whether to award one of its longest-serving players.

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