When life gives you lemons… eat them, they’re good for you.
Because you never know when you might be throwing on your Liverpool shirt to play in the Champions League.
Well, that’s a piece of advice relevant to Daniel Sturridge, anyway.
You see, the once brilliant striker has had a pretty rough few years at Anfield.
Back in 2013, he was easily one of the best forwards in Europe, playing as the attacking linch-pin of Liverpool’s exciting front-three alongside Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling, with Philippe Coutinho pulling the strings just behind.
That season – as the Reds challenged for the Premier League title – Sturridge scored 24 times in all competitions, with only Suarez bagging more.
Combining clinical finishing with outrageous nonchalance, the England forward was one of the most exquisite strikers around.
But it didn’t last.
Injuries rocked his subsequent seasons, and he made just 12 appearances in the Premier League during the ill-fated 2014-2015 season.
In fact, he was available for just 54.8% of Liverpool’s games over the next two years.
It got worse with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, who preferred to use the bright-smiled Roberto Firmino in attack over the seldom seen Sturridge.
Sturridge’s role in the team hit rock-bottom last season, when he was shipped out on-loan to struggling West Brom in the January transfer window in a desperate bid to get some game-time.
His place with the relegation-favourites wasn’t guaranteed – with Jay Rodriguez seemingly the starting striker in that team – while things went from bad to worse when he limped off with a hamstring injury after just three appearances.
However, back at Liverpool now, things are really looking up for the nippy striker.
While he’s still far from being the Reds out-and-out striker – with Klopp still preferring Firmino up front, and rightly so – Sturridge will likely still play an important role as a squad player in the team this season.
That much was evident when he made the starting line-up in Liverpool’s opening Champions League clash of the season against PSG this evening, with Firmino starting on the bench following his eye-injury.
It’s his first start in the competition since March 2012 – a massive 2379 days ago.
And naturally, Sturridge was the one to net Liverpool’s opener against the French giants, in typical goal-poacher style.
It was written in the script really, wasn’t it?
It was just his fourth Champions League goal of his career, with his previous coming against MSK Zilina and Maribor.
We do love a good redemption story, don’t we?
- Remembering when Daniel Sturridge was the best striker in Europe for one season only
- In celebration of the understated and reliable brilliance of James Milner
- Daniel Sturridge lasted just THREE MINUTES into Chelsea clash as injury woes continue
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