Daniel Sturridge is not a man who lacks confidence in his ability, telling reporters this week that he believes he can score 20 goals a season if he is given a regular place in the Chelsea team.
Despite having only two recognized strikers in his squad, Roberto di Matteo has started Sturridge only once this season. His other 11 appearances have all been as late a replacement, as a total of 271 minutes playing time have yielded two goals.
Asked if he would be a 20-goal forward if given a run in the Chelsea side, Sturridge said:
“I’d hope so. It’s always difficult to say I’d score 20 goals a season. But if any player’s given a regular run then you’d hope that if they’re playing at a top club and given opportunities to score goals they’d be able to do that. I do believe I’m a centre-forward, I do believe I’d be able to help the team win games. Whether I can do that by scoring goals, making assists, just being there, being a physical presence – whatever I can do to help the team win I’ll try and do that.”
Sturridge refused to admit to being surprised at his limited chances. “I don’t know to be honest,” he said.
“I do believe I am playing as a centre forward and that is what I want. I am getting my head down and focusing on the game on Wednesday. I am not worrying about the situation at my club. I will get my opportunity at some stage and when I do have my opportunity I will show what I can do. It is difficult to judge me as a player and say my goalscoring record is this or that when I do not play regularly. Not playing regularly is the most difficult thing for anyone to handle.”
Asked whether he learned anything from Fernando Torres Sturridge said:
“I don’t really want to say I watch certain players and that helps me to become [better],” Sturridge said. “I would say that in football you take little things out of players’ games and you try and replicate it in your game and for myself I like to watch all the players I watched through my youth and still watch the same players now, like Thierry Henry and Ronaldo [the Brazilian] that I idolised as youth player.”
Sturridge also thinks he can be an England regular, even if he cannot say the same of Chelsea.
“I do believe that,” he said. “The England manager has made it clear that players do not have to start for their clubs to play for England. That is a huge leap of faith for players like myself who are not playing regular first-team football. If the manager had not said that statement, it would be difficult for the likes of myself and other players who are not playing week in week out like Welbeck [at Manchester United].”
It is pretty clear that RDM does not think too highly of Sturridge, which is why I expect him to be sold in January, or leave the club next summer. He is too selfish a player for me, and is not clinical enough in front of goal to play every week.