Liverpool outcast Daniel Sturridge needs Everton move as much as Sam Allardyce needs him | Football | Sport


But a Goodison Park switch may represent the 28-year-old’s best chance to kickstart his career.

Sturridge was rightly considered one of England’s brightest prospects after rising through the academy ranks at Manchester City.

And his potential saw Chelsea hand over a then-record tribunal fee when they snapped him up aged 19 in 2009.

Sturridge rarely had the chance to impress through the middle at Stamford Bridge but the glimpses he showed convinced Liverpool to pay £12m for him three-and-a-half years later.

Sturridge’s best form at Anfield came while partnering Luis Suarez during the 2013/14 campaign when Brendan Rodgers’ side went agonisingly close to winning the Premier League.

The Birmingham-born ace still boasts an impressive goals per game ratio for the Reds, scoring almost once every two matches (0.47 GPG).

The reality is that of his 81 first-team appearances since signing a new five-year contract in October 2014, only 43 have come as a starter.

Former Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher claimed earlier this season that Sturridge is not the player he was when he starred alongside Suarez.

“Whenever we talk about Sturridge, because he hasn’t played so much, we keep going back to that season [2013/14] when Liverpool nearly won the league… He was just devastating with Suarez,” said the Sky Sports pundit.

“We keep thinking that player’s there. I’m not quite sure it is. I don’t think it is, if I’m being honest. Whether it’s injuries, [or] not playing enough.

“He hasn’t played for two years under Jurgen Klopp. He doesn’t fancy him. That’s why he doesn’t play.”

Jurgen Klopp’s decision to not build his attack around Sturridge and bring in other forwards over the past two years indicates he’s not taken by the Three Lions man.

Ligue 1 giants PSG were interested in signing Sturridge on loan in January last year when they needed a deputy for Edinson Cavani.

A year on, the striker should be weighing up a move across Stanley Park to join Liverpool’s city rivals Everton.

Former Toffees boss Ronald Koeman desperately wanted to sign a replacement for Romelu Lukaku following the Belgian’s £75m move to Manchester United in July.

He was snubbed by Arsenal star Olivier Giroud though and summer arrival Wayne Rooney is no longer capable of leading the line in the Premier League, despite his recent purple patch.

Wealthy Everton stakeholder Farhad Moshiri will back new manager Sam Allardyce with funds when the transfer window opens again, with a goalscorer top of his shopping list.

And a cut-price deal for Sturridge – although unlikely – would be ideal for all parties.

Liverpool would bring in cash for an out-of-favour player who could otherwise walk away for nothing in eighteen months when his contract expires.

Everton would add an experienced Premier League marksman with a point to prove to their thin frontline ranks.

And, most importantly, Sturridge would get the opportunity to end fans and pundits’ needs to hark back to his halcyon 2013/14 campaign.

Liverpool and Everton’s rivalry is obviously a huge obstacle to overcome.

And in this age of inflated fees Liverpool could name their price too high for Everton to justify.

Sturridge should push for an agreement if he wants to play on a stage his talent merits and secure his place in England’s plans for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Sturridge is not the first player to see his career impacted by injury, loss of form and a change of tactical system.

And he’d be wise to escape the stagnancy he’s endured at Liverpool for a fresh start under Allardyce at Everton in the new year.

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