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Did Chelsea make a mistake selling Sturridge to Liverpool?

With Chelsea's strikers struggling to hit the net, will they live to regret selling Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool?

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has been arguably the best striker in the Premier League this season, topping the goalscoring charts with seven goals in just eight games, taking his tally for the club to 17 goals in just 22 Premier League appearances.

Meanwhile, his former club Chelsea have seen their strikers Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres combine for just three goals in all competitions this season, with Torres scoring a brace against Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

With Sturridge banging them in for Liverpool and Chelsea boss Mourinho no doubt banging his head as his strikers fail to convert, it begs the question – did Chelsea make a mistake by selling Sturridge to the Reds?

The decision to sell Sturridge was made during Rafael Benitez's reign at Stamford Bridge, and having suffered an injury, the £12m offer from Liverpool was certainly tempting at the time.

But with Sturridge often consigned to playing on the flanks, the 24 year old regularly stated his desire to play as a central striker, but with Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Fernando Torres all vying for a spot there too, it was difficult for the former Manchester City man to get playing time there.

“I do still see myself as a striker but I am doing a job for the team and I'm enjoying doing it. If I'm playing, I can't complain about which position. As long as I'm starting, that's what matters most.”, said Sturridge in 2011.

Sturridge's time as a striker was also rewarding during a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers, where he scored eight goals in just 12 appearances for the Trotters – but upon returning to Stamford Bridge, he was put out wide and scored just 12 goals in 37 games – which is still a decent return.

Of course, according to Squawka, Sturridge has taken the most shots of any player in the Premier League, with 24. Whilst the top scorer in the league, he is also fairly wasteful at times, which is part of the reason why Chelsea fans weren't unhappy to see him leave the club.

Despite the stars that Chelsea had during Sturridge's spell there, it would've been interesting to see how he would have fared with a regular run as a striker. Much is made of whether Mourinho regrets loaning Romelu Lukaku out, but the truth is that both Lukaku and Sturridge are scoring hatfuls of goals on Merseyside this season, and could've even been the future forward line at Stamford Bridge, with years ahead of them.

Whilst Sturridge's departure isn't Mourinho's fault, there may be some fans not only regretting loaning out Lukaku, but also letting Sturridge leave to a rival.

images: © kuaver, © Ben Sutherland

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