LONDON ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea celebrates with teammate Jose Bosingwa (17) as he scores their second goal during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON 3rd round match between Chelsea and Ipswich Town at Stamford Bridge on January 9 2011 in London England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
There were some interesting quotes floating around the internet this morning being attributed to Daniel Sturridge. The media will take these types of quotes and run with them, but I'd like to make a few points for you all to consider when you read garbage like this. Having read the article, I'm sure many of you will immediately begin to criticize Sturridge for "selfishness" and "having a bad attitude". While you're certainly welcome to do so, just take a second and think about what he actually said. Here's the entirety of the quote:
You never know what is going to happen in the future, everyone is going to evaluate the season that they've had, the club will certainly evaluate players and I will certainly evaluate my situation. Obviously I see myself as a center forward and hopefully next season I will be able to achieve that feat because I don't see myself playing on the wing.
First and foremost, Sturridge is still a very young man. He'll start next season at the age of 22, so traits like patience have probably not fully developed yet. He's also still on the upswing of his career, so having ambitions to be the best at his job is actually a very good thing to see. He's played his whole young career as a center forward and only recently been moved to the wing. He has to be aware that many out there don't feel he's got the skillset to play the position at the top level, and I'd think less of him as a competitor if he didn't want to prove them wrong. Theo Walcott had some nearly identical quotes two summers ago, sometimes it just takes time for a player to find a role at the highest level.
The other thing to consider is the fact that nothing Sturridge has said would lead you to believe he's pushing for a transfer. Setanta will use the headline they did because it attracts readers, the reality is that Sturridge (like many other young players) is simply letting us know he'd like some clarity to how the club feels about him. That's not hard to understand considering the way he's fallen out of favor recently, even a consummate professional like Salomon Kalou occasionally has doubts when he's not being used.
Sturridge is a fantastic young talent. He's still young enough that he probably isn't fully aware of just how far the British press will manipulate his quotes, and frankly we don't even know the context in which this statement was made. This just screams of the media asking leading questions to a young player and then twisting his words so they will have something "sensational" to sell papers with.
When you take a few minutes and think this one through, there is just no way the club would be looking to sell a talented, homegrown, youngster that can play several positions where we currently have depth issues. Beyond that fact, there are also financial matters to take into consideration. Sturridge makes 65,000 per week...that's a figure that only four clubs (including ourselves) could pay. Sturridge is a 22 year old English player with a 13 goal 7 assist season under his belt already. He's going to cost a lot. Considering our lack of cover at the positions he plays, the transfer fee, and wages involved, the odds of Daniel Sturridge leaving this summer are about one in a million. Please don't kill the kid for something that the media will surely blow out of proportion...