As this Premier League season begins to draw to a close, it seems ever more likely that English striker Daniel Sturridge will be leaving Liverpool Football Club during the summer transfer window. Although initially a great signing back in January 2013 from rival club Chelsea, and scoring 59 goals throughout his 113 appearances, injury has ruined what might have otherwise been a career-changing transfer for the England International.
Sturridge injury record
To put his record in perspective, Sturridge has been unavailable for over 55% of matches during his time at the club, and even when available, he has recently has fallen down the pecking order. He has only played 14 games for the squad this season, the last being against Sunderland back in early January, however he did score the only goal for the Reds during this game.
He is currently ranked as the third most injured player in the Premier League, with only Wilshere and Agbonlahor pipping him to the post, but only just. Most of his injuries have been regarding his thigh, which he seems to have consistent problems with. However, he has also been out for over a 100 days a time with both his ankle and his hip.
Anfield injury woes
Daniel Sturridge is by no means the first Liverpool player to be absolutely ravaged by injury woes. Current fellow player Danny Ings had his dream transfer crushed almost immediately due to ligament damage, and is currently out again due to a knee injury sustained against Tottenham in October. Danish International Daniel Agger had a very unlucky run, barely finishing a season in his long career without sustaining some form of injury. Michael Owen also suffered his fair share of injuries, and even recently blamed his injury prone later years on the way he was treated as a youngster at Liverpool. So it really does feel like Liverpool’s injury problems are chronic, spanning careers, coaches and eras alike.
Strict training regime
So why is it Sturridge seems to be so prone to injuries? Hoodoo theories aside, Liverpool have some of the best physiotherapy and medical staff in the country. With focused gym training, strength work and some of the most sophisticated fitness methods around, players should be in fine fettle and able to cope with most scenarios, fully able to recover from the one or two injuries that inevitably arise once in a while. Klopp stated shortly after he arrived that Sturridge needs to “learn what is serious pain and what is only pain”, so is there a commitment issue at work?
Well, some have suggested that the German manager’s rigorous and tough training sessions and schedule could actually be doing more harm than good, causing the lack of quality and consistency the team have arguably shown lately, as well as contributing to Sturridge’s ongoing problems. But surely if this were the case, Liverpool wouldn’t still be running rings around the top six, and we would have seen muscular injuries occurring across the board?
So it remains to be seen at the moment if Daniel Sturridge will still be at Anfield at the start of next season. However, given Klopp’s preferred starting XI at the moment including Lallana/Mane/Firmino/Coutinho attacking up front, and with Origi often being picked over Sturridge on those rare occasions that he is available, it seems fair to say that most fans would be surprised to see him stay beyond the summer.