One of the best things from an England perspective last year was just how many of the country’s better young talents were getting game time at big clubs.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were both regularly used at Manchester United; Ashley Young had a decent first season for the Red Devils, while Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck finally made the breakthrough. Kyle Walker emerged at Spurs, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott played influential roles Arsenal’s Champions League campaign, Daniel Sturridge finally made his breakthrough at Chelsea.

The former Manchester City striker played 41 matches netting 11 times, a modest tally, which is impressive when you consider the 23 year old was mainly used as a right forward. Sturridge insists his best role is as a central striker and he bagged eight goals in 12 league appearances the season before at Bolton Wanderers playing that role. At still just 23 and with a proven track record in the Premier League, it’s disappointing that while England meet up, still without an obvious striker to play in front of Wayne Rooney, Sturridge’s career is stagnating.

Roberto Di Matteo seems to have labelled Sturridge as a luxury he cannot afford out wide, with the England international’s lack of defensive awareness not to his liking. During Chelsea’s Champions League run Ramires was often favoured for his defensive qualities ahead of him, while Di Matteo famously gave specialist full-back Ryan Bertrand his first ever berth in European competition in the Champions League final as a left-midfielder.

So with opportunities out wide not likely for the striker and Fernando Torres unlikely to dropped as the club’s top central striker, Sturidge has shifted quickly down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. While being back up at a big club is not necessarily the worst thing in the world, Sturridge has only managed two appearances this season, and has on some occasions failed the make the match-day 18.

Now while you can’t argue with Chelsea’s results in his absence and some of his short-comings and the criticisms labelled at him, when he played on the right last season, I find quite accurate, (too-one footed, too greedy, doesn’t track back enough). I still think it’s a shame to see a young English player of top six quality failing to progress in his football career.

One move Sturridge was linked with which in my opinion would have been exceptional for both parties, is a switch to Liverpool. The Merseyside club’s Achilles heel last term was goal-scoring and this season chance conversion isn’t coming any easier to Brendan Rodger’s men. It has been well-documented that there are only two specialist strikers at Anfield: Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez. Both have their flaws, and Sturridge would offer a viable alternative in a position Liverpool are short of both depth and quality.

Finally I think there is a rare x-factor with Daniel Sturridge, his summer lob for team GB remains the best goal I’ve seen in the flesh in the past three years. While his back heel against Sunderland, along with some of other strikes from the Englishman display a footballer with the audacity and self confidence to try things most professionals in the sport dare not.

Follow me on Twitter: @jimmylowson

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  • shane
    2 years ago

    He’s been injured all season you numpty.

    Reply
    • Mike
      2 years ago

      Well said Shane

      Reply
      • Marc CFC/BKK
        2 years ago

        Ditto: Chelsea negatives, yet again….injury = he can’t play. Be honest journo mothers, Chelsea signed no other strikers, RDM confirmed Sturridge as no 2 CF (something AVB never allowed) and yes…as Shane, the more clued up journo here stated, he’s been injured all season you (I could use far nastier and deserved words but) numpty. KTBFFH

        Reply
  • James Lowson
    2 years ago

    Well he hasn’t been injured all season but your right I should have mentioned his hamstring problem over the past month, and maybe even his pre-season injury. Still think this blog is relevant played regularly under AVB less so RDM

    Reply
  • Michael
    2 years ago

    Amazing Mr Lowson that you cannot be bothered to fact check before writing more Anti Chelsea drivel, as my two fellow blues fans have pointed out he has a hamstring injury and when he recovers he will thrive at Chelsea and flourish which would not be the case if he was in a mid table team like Liverpool or needing referee’s to get results like United seem to .

    Reply
    • James Lowson
      2 years ago

      How is this anti-Chelsea I’m bigging up one of your players?!

      Reply
      • jackharrybill
        2 years ago

        It’s anti-Chelsea because you are suggesting that the club are holding him back when in fact he is now one of only two recognised strikers at the club. Once fit he’ll get game time. Without injury he’d have had it more this season. When he gets it he needs to prove that he is good enough.

        Reply
  • Lamar
    2 years ago

    Mr. Lowson – If you don’t know what you are talking about…just shut up…

    Reply
  • ANT EASTON
    2 years ago

    totally agree with shane and mike. sturridge has been injured all season and has only actually been available for a couple of games. this isn’t to say he would have played in them all, but it’s a fair bet he would have racked up at least 2or3 starts and several sub appearances. CHECK YOUR FACTS.

    Reply
  • Sir Cecil
    2 years ago

    What a poor, poor article. The writer doesn’t mention his on-going unavailability due to his injured state, he DOES say he is “one-footed, greedy and doesn’t track back”, and he says he has “gone down the pecking order” when in fact he is only one of two strikers at the club. Hard to recall reading such a lot of nonsense all brought together in one article.

    Reply
  • Nicky
    2 years ago

    Poor article, sly digs at Chelsea, he has been injured all season… look at the facts before sniping.. sad and desperate journalism ..

    Reply
  • tom
    2 years ago

    Classic anti-Chelsea rubbish.

    So Arsenal have held back Walcott for the last 5 years then because he is still on the bench almost every game. Same can be said of Welbeck at Utd.

    Sturridge had a good Olympics just after recovering from meningitis, scoring a great chip at Wembley, whilst Clerverley wastes easy chances for Team GB and England and gets rave reviews. Journos really do have a great sense of humour.

    Reply
  • BlaDeBla
    2 years ago

    So if every dog has its day is it also true to say that if you throw enough muck at a wall some of it is bound to stick ?

    Sturridge like many others is just another inconsistent flash in the pan .

    We are capable of pulling off a flash move here n there when we are unknown quantities but its when we are well known that we show our worth .

    Strikers like Lineker , Shearer , Rush , Van Basten , Klinsman , Bergkamp etc are considered legends because they were so well known but still managed to produce the goods with alarming regularity against the best players in the world .

    They didnt do that through luck or because they were the greatest of all time in their own heads … they done it because they never rested on their laurel’s .

    I dont think I ever seen a striker work as hard as Ian Rush either during a game or behind the scenes on his own game .

    Klinsman was another who never stopped working on improving his game .

    Bergkamp another .

    For me though Ian Rush is the absolute best I have ever seen & he is the Striker all strikers who play in Britain is judged by .

    If Sturridge or anyone else isnt capable of pulling up his socks , knuckling down & working for his opportunity then that is his problem .

    Obviously he has an attitude problem & a mental weakness or inability & his true character is being revealed which is perhaps why City let him go in the 1′st place .

    Bottom line is he isnt a good enough player to play regularly in the Premier League let alone play regularly for the European champions let alone play for Engerland .

    Politics is ruining English football & if the standard keeps on dropping the way it has fallen to under 14 level this past 5 years then surely its only a matter of time before the investments return to Europe & we see either Germany take over as the top League in the world or we see Italy restored to the top position once again .

    In a nutshell what Im saying is that over a 38 + game season Sturridge is pure & absolute Sh*te .

    Reply