By John Dutton
The news Liverpool fans everywhere expected was confirmed this morning with the signing of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea. According to The Guardian, the clubs completed the English forward’s transfer for a fee of approximately £12 million ($19.5 million).
Liverpool was in need of another top-class striker to complement forward Luis Suarez due in part to the unfortunate injury to forward Fabio Borini. Sturridge may be a better fit for Fenway Sports Group’s policy of building for the future than some of the other names linked to the club in recent weeks.
Sturridge is able to operate as a center forward or on the flanks, explaining to Sky Sports in March 2012: “Fitness-wise, it helps you so much playing on the wing as it’s a completely different job – you do a lot more runs than you do up front. Thierry Henry played wide for Juventus and then went to Arsenal and played as a centre-forward.”
What seems especially significant is what Sturridge said about joining the Reds in an interview with the club’s website: “I’ve signed to be here for as long as possible. It’s a humongous club – for me, one of the biggest in the world…”
It seems clear that the England international has been unhappy with his lack of opportunities at Chelsea (especially being ranked behind the misfiring Torres in the pecking order), so if he is being honest about his commitment to the Anfield club, Liverpool may have a new player set to feature for years to come.
The club’s managing director, Ian Ayre, praised the England international in an interview with the Liverpool FC website:
“I’m very pleased today that we’ve got the right player and the right deal,” Ayre explained. “That’s what it’s always about. It was important to us that we did all of the work ahead of the transfer window in talking to Chelsea and the player and his representatives.”
He continued, “We made sure we did that so we could have him hit the ground running in January – and here we are today on the second and we’re all done and dusted, so we’ll look forward to seeing him in a Liverpool shirt and on the pitch.”