Daniel Sturridge has now scored seven times in his last two games.
That’s more than Chelsea’s first choice strike force of Anelka, Malouda and Drogba have managed in the last eight matches between them.
The facts and performances speak for themselves. Right now The Blues lack confidence in the final third, the return of Frank Lampard will improve this, but for the moment the champions goal poachers aren’t firing on all fronts.
Sturridge is high on confidence given his brace in the FA Cup against Ipswich, which came just three days after he scored five in a reserve match against Spurs, and with this in mind, now is the time to give the England Under 21 International his chance.
The former Manchester City forward has been banging on the door of the first team for well over a year now, and on the whole his cameo appearances have been encouraging.
The perfect example was the last time Chelsea were in a slump; in the Community Shield off the back of three consecutive defeats in preseason, and an uninspiring show against Manchester United, Sturridge came off the bench and jump-started a team still trying to find its feet ahead of a new season.
He twice tested Edwin Van Der Sar cutting in from the right, and his pace just plain and simple caused problems.
This is exactly what the Blues need right now: pace on the flanks and in behind defenders.
The recent poor run has seem the likes of Malouda, Anelka and Kalou coming short and drifting inside, desperately in search of the ball. This has not only left Chelsea narrow when attacking, but also the fullbacks dangerously exposed to the opposition.
The lack of confidence has also left the wingers feeling unable to take on defenders—something Sturridge in his current form can do well.
The simple fact is Chelsea’s system has been found out, and teams now know how to counter it and crucially beat it.
Carlo Ancelotti is in need of someone to freshen up his side and potentially add a different dimension, and whilst Daniel Sturridge is certainly not the finished product, he does present a different type of threat than we’ve relied on over the last 18 months or so.
Not since the days of Duff and Robben have Chelsea used pace to stretch their opponents. The power they possessed through the midfield and attack was enough to land them the Double last season, but this has been successfully nullified this year by a combination of squad trimming and injuries, as well as better-prepared opposition.
Now is a crucial time for the side from Stamford Bridge, they can not afford to drop any further back in the title race, and with Lampard still looking to discover his top form, it could be time for Daniel Sturridge to prove himself at the highest level.
At the very least he deserves a chance to.
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