Football

Chelsea will rue selling Sturridge this season

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There's always a bitter irony to be taken when you're a supporter of a club who releases a player, only for him to go on to become brilliant at a rival club.

That's probably how many Chelsea fans are feeling at the moment, having sold Daniel Sturridge on to Liverpool at the beginning of this year, only to find themselves in dire need of a goalscoring striker come September, just as he's netting prolifically at Anfield.

One could argue that the former Manchester City man can serve as a stark reminder of how the money-before-development technique that the likes of Chelsea and City deploy can sometimes backfire.

At the moment at least, the pomp and expectation surrounding Jose Mourinho's second coming at Stamford Bridge is wilting quicker than a dying flower, and their main problem? They don't have a world-class striker ready to put the ball in the back of the net when their vast array of midfield talent fails to do so.

Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have drastically failed to inspire so far this campaign and despite Jose Mourinho's attempts at bringing in Wayne Rooney in the summer transfer window, it's a problem that maybe could have been avoided prior to the start of the season.

Switch to Liverpool, a team that were largely written off before a ball had even been kicked this term, and the grass is substantially greener. Where Chelsea can aim the majority of their envy though, isn't through the fact that their Merseyside rivals sit two points clear of them in second place, nor the fact that they've scored more goals.

No, it's probably the man who's engineered Liverpool's superiority thus far who is the proverbial thorn in their side.

Daniel Sturridge has exceeded all expectations since his move to Anfield, netting 18 times in just 24 appearances. With such potency demonstrated since his departure from Stamford Bridge you can't help beg where it all went wrong?

The answers you arrive at are probably more indicative of a blame on Chelsea's part rather than a random improvement on Sturridge's behalf. Whilst at the west London club his game time was severely limited and when he did play it was usually in a wide position rather than up top where he is most efficient.

Fair enough this was mainly down to a need to accommodate the talents of Didier Drogba but for the most part Sturridge was treated as a player who was only a temporary member of the squad, a bit-part player who could fill a void when needed whilst Chelsea eyed other targets.

Had Chelsea nurtured Sturridge as the man to replace Drogba, then the current scenario could have been very different indeed. He has so far flourished by playing off of the balls that the creative flair of Coutinho and Gerrard can offer him, and there would have been an abundance of that at Chelsea with Hazard, Mata and co. assisting him.

So it's with great irony but even greater regret that the Blues can now look at the success Sturridge could have offered them, but is instead producing at Liverpool.

Unless Mourinho can get his hands on a striker who is regularly going to score the goals needed to win matches, it's difficult to see how they will sustain a long title-challenge.

Whilst Sturridge may not have blossomed with such immediate fruits had he remained at Stamford Bridge, it was only going to be a matter of time before his potential was realised.

Back to the irony; the lack of the unwanted man at Chelsea could end up ultimately costing them the league.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge
Chelsea

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