Daniel Sturridge - Is his 'selfish' tag justified?

Sturridge

Liverpool have signed Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea, is it a good move?

A couple of summers ago Daniel Sturridge was leading the line for England's under-21 side along with Danny Welbeck.

One year on and Welbeck was scoring for England's senior team at Euro 2012, and Sturridge did not even make the squad - So what went wrong?

2011/12 was an up and down year for Sturridge - He may have ended the season as a Champions League winner, but he played little role in the club's run under Roberto di Matteo to clinch the trophy.

Sturridge's brightest moments had come under Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the season - when he was played wide on the right, a position he very publicly did not like.

The news was filtered through to the media, via his agent, as soon as last January that he wanted to play centrally and would consider moving from Stamford Bridge if he did not get his wish.

When he did play in the second half of last season and this, he earned himself a reputation among Chelsea fans and the general public for his 'selfish' play.

One notorious game was AVB's final match, an away defeat to West Brom when his refusal to pass to his teammates from good positions saw the side spurn healthy openings and go onto lose the encounter.

This season on his rare opportunities - one Premier League start and six sub appearances - for Chelsea, that reputation has continued. But is it fair?

We would say it is a little unfair, because all great strikers are selfish, and have to be to become successful.

Sturridge does though have to learn when to pick a pass, especially if he is to thrive under Brendan Rodgers management. Rodgers will not tolerate unduly selflish play, and neither will the demanding Liverpool support.

At Liverpool Sturridge will find himself a home, and a club willing to welcome him with open arms, if he can contribute back. At Chelsea you get the sense he never settled because he was a young player trying to make a name for himself in a crowd of established stars.

Others like Shaun Wright-Phillips have failed, and Scott Sinclair is experiencing the same at Manchester City. Opportunities are limited so players have to try to make the best of the minutes they do have.

So it is hardly a surprise to see Sturridge's play labelled 'selfish' - He has been fighting to make himself heard and over the last year, most likely striving to earn himself a move. That translated through his play on the pitch, but now he has to change.

Sturridge has got his move, and he will get opportunities through the centre - not all the time, but as Suarez is rotated they will come. He will have to show his maturity, and that means shaking his selfish tag if he can, but goals are ultimately what will matter.

If he can become integral to Liverpool, expect to see him in the England squad on a regular basis very soon.

Is Sturridge's selfish tag justified?

image: © Sorren Lissner

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