Daniel Andre Sturridge (born 1 September 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the England national team. He plays as a striker, but he has also been used as a winger on many occasions.
Born in Birmingham, Sturridge spent four years in the Aston Villa academy before moving to Coventry City. He then signed for Manchester City in 2003. He continued his development at City and played in two FA Youth Cup finals. He made his first team debut in the 2007–08 season, becoming the only player ever to score in the FA Youth Cup, FA Cup and Premier League in the same season. He left City in 2009 and signed for Chelsea, where he was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers for the second half of the 2010–11 season. After a successful spell at Bolton, scoring eight goals in 12 appearances, he returned to Chelsea for the 2011–12 season. He left Chelsea to join Liverpool in January 2013, where he formed the so-called SAS attacking partnership with Luis Suárez, with Liverpool scoring more than 100 league goals in the 2013–14 season with Sturridge scoring 21 — the pair of them having a 1–2 in the goal scoring stats of the league. The following two seasons were curtailed by a myriad of injuries, limiting Sturridge to very few appearances.
Former Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas said, “Daniel offers a few of the characteristics I had with Hulk when I was with him in Porto… He is an extremely quick player, and he has technique at pace.”
Sturridge said he preferred to play as a centre-forward rather than as a wide player: “I do still see myself as a striker but I am doing a job for the team and I’m enjoying doing it.” As Sturridge transitioned from a wider role into a striker when he joined Liverpool, Sturridge also said that he likens himself on striker Thierry Henry, who “played wide for Juventus and then went to Arsenal and played as a centre-forward.”
Although he rarely played for Chelsea as a striker, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played Sturridge as a striker in most games. His ability to still drop between lines and pull wide and attack defences, similar to former strike partner Luis Suárez’s playing-style, has led to Rodgers describing him as “what I call a ‘nine-and-a-half,” alluding to how his style of play is somewhere between a classic “no.9” and a “no.10.”
Sturridge has represented England at all levels. He made 15 appearances and scored four goals for the Under-21 team. He made his debut for England against Sweden on 15 November 2011 and was selected for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was also part of the England side that went to France for Euro 2016 and were eliminated by the tournament underdog Iceland.
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