LiverpoolFC.com, the club’s official website, celebrated the signing and reported, “The 23-year-old becomes our first signing of the January transfer window after penning a long-term contract at Melwood today.”
Finding players who can immediately improve a squad at a reasonable price in January is no easy task, but this is exactly what the Reds have done with this transfer.
The Guardian notes, “The transfer fee is understood to be in the region of £12m.” This is a fantastic bargain for a young and versatile attacker who fills a hole in the club’s roster.
The Liverpool management saw a talented player who has proved that he can be productive against Premier League defenses and was out of favor at his club. They wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation, and the Reds brass deserves a significant amount of praise for getting this deal done so quickly.
Sturridge scored 11 goals and recorded three assists in 30 league fixtures last season while featuring both as a striker and as a winger. But due to an influx of attacking talent at Stamford Bridge over the summer, Sturridge has started just one match while appearing six times as a substitute.
But the England international’s time on the bench is over, and he will be a regular in the first team at Anfield.
Luis Suarez has desperately needed a striking partner. The Uruguayan has netted 44 percent of the Reds’ goals, but the former Chelsea man will be significantly more capable of drawing attention away from Suarez than any of Liverpool’s current attackers.
While Brendan Rodgers’ career with the club got off to a bumpy start, the team has turned in quality performances recently, and it will continue to improve with its new striker.
Liverpool are just two points behind West Bromwich Albion, who sit in seventh place. A Europa League qualifying spot is well within reach.
In addition, the seven-point gap between the Reds and fourth place is the same margin that separates second-place Manchester City and league-leading Manchester United. Few fans and pundits are willing to concede the title to United so early in the season, so Liverpool’s chances to qualify for the Champions League should not be completely ruled out.
It will be extremely difficult for the club to make such a large jump before the campaign ends, and it would be incredibly surprising to see UCL fixtures on the club’s schedule next season.
But this task would have been impossible if Rodgers did not make a bold move in the transfer market, and this is exactly what he did by signing Sturridge.
His talent is undeniable, and he undoubtedly has a bright future. But he will also significantly help the Reds this season. This, in combination with his relatively modest price tag, makes Sturridge a perfect winter signing for Liverpool.