Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge is rumoured to have completed the formalities of a £12m move to Liverpool, to go through in January, according to a report by the Mirror. The 23 year old England international is believed to have successfully passed a medical at Anfield over the weekend and is even due to receive £1.5m from the Stamford Bridge club as part of the deal.
Sturridge's move, which is unlikely to be confirmed by the Reds before the official opening of the winter transfer window (on 2 January), comes as no surprise. The former Manchester City forward has had a torrid 2012/13 Premier League campaign with Roman Abramovich's club. The youngster has started only one league game this season and only two across all competitions. And in his 12 appearances for the club, Sturridge has scored only twice, with one assist.
However, the lack of form and playing time has not stopped Liverpool legend John Aldridge from praising the striker's potential arrival at the struggling Merseyside club. Liverpool are in desperate need of strikers and support for Uruguayan international Luis Suarez, after failing to land transfer targets like Clint Dempsey in the summer; the American moved to Tottenham instead.
"Liverpool FC have been in desperate need of more firepower all season and I'm delighted we've agreed a deal for Daniel Sturridge to sign for us in January. As far as I'm concerned, he's got pace, he's strong and he knows where the net is," the 54 year old ex-Republic of Ireland international wrote, in a column in the Liverpool Echo.
The one striker the Reds did sign - Italian forward Fabio Borini - has missed almost the entire season so far, after breaking his foot in a training session with the Italy U21 side, and has yet to return to training. And £35m Andy Carroll, signed by former manager Kenny Dalglish last season, has been loaned out to newly promoted West Ham United after it was suggested to him he did not fit in with Brendan Rodgers' style of play and had no future at the club.
It is believed, however, West Ham will cancel the season-long loan for the former Newcastle United forward. An earlier IBTimes UK report suggested Sam Allardyce was dissatisfied with the England striker's injury record and the prospect of continuing to pay £90,000 per week for his services.
In any case, Aldridge believes the potential arrival of Sturridge can only help his former club. And the former Reds' striker, who scored an impressive 63 goals in 104 appearances for the club, dismissed suggestions the signing could prove to be a poor gamble.
"I don't think £12m is a bad price to pay for a 23-year-old who has the ability to become a regular England international. He can play out wide or through the middle so I think he will fit into Brendan Rodgers' system perfectly," Aldridge explained.
"He had three and a half years at Chelsea and never really got a run of games. When you look at how many matches he actually started for Chelsea his strike-rate is around one goal for every two games, which is decent," he concluded.