Sturridge clearly has the talent, there’s no doubting that. He’s scored 46 times in 89 Premier League appearances for Liverpool. He’s also done well on the international front, netting eight goals over 25 matches. So the big question is, should Newcastle launch a bid for the 27-year-old attacker?
One of the main traits managers look for in a striker is if they’re “Premier League Proven.” Daniel Sturridge definitely checks that box. When he plays, he scores. But this brings up another issue for Newcastle -- what would he cost? If Kieran Gibbs, a left back that by all accounts, didn’t play because Nacho Monreal was better than him, costs 15m, then what would Sturridge cost? Surely he’d be over the 25m mark. If NUFC has a set budget around 80m, it would be risky to invest a heavy portion of that into one player. Rafael Benitez may be better off using his transfer kitty on strengthening his squad’s depth.
Another potential issue with signing Daniel Sturridge is his health. In 5 seasons with Liverpool, Sturridge has only started more than 20 PL matches in a season once, and that was four seasons ago. This, combined with the potential injury concerns with Dwight Gayle, may be too much injury risk between the team’s top two strikers.
Finally, Benitez will surely be thinking long-term with each signing he makes. He was able to use loanee Christian Atsu in his promotion push last season, and subsequently close a deal to keep him long-term on Tyneside after winning the league. He very well may be thinking along the same lines with potential loanee Tammy Abraham. While bringing in a proven Premier League goal scorer is definitely a priority, Newcastle might be better served to give younger strikers like Ayoze Perez and the aforementioned Abraham more opportunities, coupled with a less costly striker, along the lines of a Josh King or Sam Vokes, that can also be a long term solution.
Daniel Sturridge is a fascinating player; if he could stay off the trainer’s table, he always has the potential to be a world class player. However, because of his injury history, along with the cost it would take to lure him away from Liverpool, and the halt in development his arrival may bring, it’s probably best that Newcastle look in a different direction.