When will Liverpool fans learn that selling our best players, regardless the sum, makes us a considerably worse team…?
Let’s rewind to summer 2014. Luis Suarez finally got his move to Barcelona for a hefty £65m-odd, but instead of recognising the travesty of his departure – many Reds genuinely claimed we’d be stronger as a result.
‘We can buy three or four world-class players with that money! It’ll fiix the squad! Totally worth it,’ they cried…
Sadly, it doesn’t and didn’t work like that. Liverpool ploughed the money back into the squad alright, but transformed from title contenders into also-rans.
Sturridge isn’t Suarez. But nobody is, and right now – he’s the closest we’ve got.
Rewind to 2011, Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m – a British record at the time. The Spaniard flopped and many claimed it was a genius sale, but did it actually make Liverpool a better team? No it didn’t. Even with Suarez alongside £35m Torres replacement Andy Carroll, we couldn’t reach the Top Four.
Go back to 2009 and you’ll remember Xabi Alonso was sold to Real Madrid for £30m. Liverpool directly replaced him with Alberto Aquilani and went from title contenders into also-rans.
Yes – Liverpool purchased badly in these instances, but there’s no guarantee we won’t do so again – regardless of Jurgen Klopp’s record in the transfer market. For selling Sturridge to be a success, we need the replacement to stay fit, score 20 Premier League goals every season and get us into the Champions League. Whoever it is, there is no guarantee. Shouldn’t we just keep Sturridge, work on his fitness and let him give it a go instead…?
PSG, Ligue 1 champions and regulars in the latter stages of the Champions League, are reportedly willing to spend £45m on Sturridge. Shouldn’t we recognise that if a club of that stature want your player, he’s probably a player worth keeping…?
This is a striker with the best goals:minute ratio of any forward in Liverpool’s Premier League history. Despite enduring a campaign ravaged by niggling problems, he’s scored seven goals in 11 starts. Since signing, he’s scored 47 in 81 matches. Sturridge is utterly class, in short, and at 26 – about to enter his peak.
Supporters fantasise about potential replacements, but the grass is so rarely greener. Sturridge is settled, he’s English and guarantees goals when he’s healthy. Why would we even consider selling? Remember, £45m doesn’t buy you nearly as much nowadays. That’s only £13m more than Christian Benteke.
We’ve done our time with Sturridge. We’ve waited, waited and waited. But he’s fit now, and in Klopp has a manager who’s flatly not going to risk his health. Klopp will maximise Sturridge’s chances of fitness and there’s already suggestions the forward is over his problems. When we’ve invested so much in ‘fixing’ crocked Sturridge, why would we sell him as soon as he’s ready? We’re not a feeder club; developing players for profit. We’re a club that demands the best players stay and play.
Raheem Sterling was different. He refused to renew his contract and he’d poisoned his relationship with the club. Sturridge has three years on his deal and is not pining for a move away.
Liverpool need to build a team around our best players. Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Emre Can, Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge. Great sides keep a loyal spine and add gloss to it. Fans who cannot separate Football Manager and FIFA from real life need to recognise this.