As the transfer window nears, one of the deals which looks most likely to materialise is Daniel Sturridge leaving Chelsea and signing for Liverpool. Reports late last night claimed the deal is nearly complete.
This is why it simply has to happen:
We are in mid-December and Sturridge has made just ONE start in the Premier League all season.
That is under two different managers, and in all competitions he has made just TWO starts (The second came in the Capital One Cup).
He featured in just two Champions League games, both as a substitute.
While it's correct to point out he had an illness at the start of the season (he recovered to make the Community Shield - Again coming on as sub) and missed two-three weeks in September-October with a hamstring strain, the amount of game time he has seen this season is phenomenally little.
To his credit, he has two goals to his name in all competitions, the same as he has number of starts.
All of this has been going on with the inconsistent and at times infuriating Fernando Torres in front of him, so if he can't get in the team now, what chance if Chelsea bring in Falcao or another top striker in January?
It is no wonder Sturridge is pushing for a move, and Liverpool could be the right option.
Back in the summer I wrote a piece commenting that the Reds should be wary of spending £15 million on Sturridge, but since then the situation has changed substantially. Back then they still had Andy Carroll as an option, and the expectation was that if not, then they would sign a replacement.
Brendan Rodgers is desperate to bring in a striker, and Sturridge is ready to answer that SOS to provide support to Luis Suarez. If anything, Sturridge's price tag will have devalued since then, and a figure of £12 million - A little more acceptable, has been suggested.
Sturridge would fit well into the young side Rodgers is trying to mould; He is quick, tricky, and a natural goalscorer. Sturridge just needs a manager to believe in him, and Rodgers' loyalty to his youngsters will give him faith.
But as much as Liverpool need Sturridge, they do have other options. Sturridge on the other hand doesn't have as many at the top level willing to take him on and offer him regular football.
He actually needs Liverpool as much, if not more, than they need him, and the move will be vital to getting his career back on track.
image: © Ben Sutherland