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Sheffield United taking a chance on this 31-year-old English free agent would be a good gamble

Sturridge's form has been on a downslide for a number of years now
Sturridge's form has been on a downslide for a number of years now

Why Sheffield United should take a punt on free agent Daniel Sturridge

According to the Daily Mail, Sheffield United are exploring the possibility of offering a contract to former England international striker Daniel Sturridge, who is currently a free agent in the market.

The 31-year-old joined Trabzonspor following the expiry of his contract with Liverpool last summer but mutually terminated his deal with the Turkish club in March ahead of being handed a four-month worldwide ban for breach of betting regulations.

Sturridge, who scored 7 goals in just 16 appearances for Trabzonspor, is yet to find himself a new club and the Blades have identified the veteran as a potential option as they look to add a new striker to their ranks before the deadline. (h/t Daily Mail)

Profile

Daniel Sturridge hardly requires an introduction to any football fan in England. The left-footed hitman rose through the youth ranks of Aston Villa, Coventry City and Man City before going on to enjoy his breakthrough in senior football with the latter. 

The Curious Case of Daniel Sturridge - Once England's Great Hope, Now Forgotten in the Wilderness | 90min
Daniel Sturridge mutually terminated his contract with Trabzonspor back in March (Getty Images)

Sturridge, though, made only 32 appearances for the Cityzens across three seasons, scoring 6 goals before completing a move to PL rivals Chelsea back in 2009. The Birmingham-born striker never really managed to establish himself as a regular fixture at Stamford Bridge due to stiff competition for places but still managed a decent tally of 24 goals and 9 assists in 96 appearances.

The Englishman added a Premier League trophy, two FA Cups and the Champions League crown to his cabinet during his time at Chelsea before switching boats once again to join Liverpool in January 2013. 

It was at Merseyside that Sturridge established himself as one of the best strikers in the country, racking up a career-best tally of 21 league goals in 2013-14 as Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool fell agonisingly short of the league title. However, his influence at Liverpool gradually waned, partly due to injuries, while the arrival of new players also played a part in his downfall.

Sturridge, though, left Anfield with the second Champions League medal of his career, having recorded an impressive 68 goals and 26 assists in 160 appearances for the Reds.

Daniel Sturridge has gone from unplayable to unfashionable in just four years... so what next?
Sturridge scored 68 goals in 160 appearances for Liverpool earlier in his career (Getty Images)

Sturridge would still be a smashing signing for Sheffield United

Sheffield United have completed some smart deals in the summer window so far, with Aaron Ramsdale, Wes Foderingham, Ismaila Coulibaly, Oliver Burke, Jayden Bogle, and Max Lowe all coming through the door. Ethan Ampadu has also been roped in on loan from Chelsea but Burke remains the only new addition to the club’s attacking unit.

That’s certainly not enough when you consider that the Blades scored only 39 goals en route to their 9th-place finish in the Premier League last season. The likes of David McGoldrick, Oliver McBurnie, Lys Mousset, and Billy Sharp shared only 17 league goals among them as Chris Wilder’s side struggled to find the net on a consistent basis. 

Sheffield United have not scored a goal in three Premier League games this season so far, hence it’s clear that they need to bring in some reinforcements to bolster their attack. Daniel Sturridge could be a valuable addition on the cheap, considering his status as a free agent.

Liverpool Confirm "Modern-Day Great" Daniel Sturridge Will Leave the Club This Summer
Source: Getty Images

The former England international ticks the box as a hugely experienced option with proven pedigree in the Premier League, having played for some of the biggest clubs in English football. A left-footed centre-forward, Sturridge would also offer something different to United’s existing options in front of goal.

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Verdict

Daniel Sturridge hasn’t played a lot of football over the past few seasons (he only made a handful of appearances for Liverpool towards the end of his career at Anfield) and has been completely out of action since March. 

There are hardly any doubts that Sturridge still has the ability to deliver the goods at 31 but whether or not he is fit enough is a completely different question. And if he is really fit, then the former England international could be a wonderful bargain addition to Sheffield United’s forward line.

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