By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)
Liverpool are close to finalising deals to sign Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Blackpool’s Tom Ince in January, according to numerous media outlets and sources close to the club. The duo are expected to complete their moves within the first two weeks of the transfer window, while Brendan Rodgers will hope they provide added firepower to his side’s profligate attack.
Sturridge, 23, is expected to cost the club around £12million, after Liverpool reportedly failed to land the Chelsea forward on loan in the summer, with a weekly wage of £60,000. The English striker has tried in vain to break into the Chelsea first team, never trully cementing a key role in the starting eleven despite allegedly having an inflated value of his own importance to the side, and often operating from the right wing to accomodate the likes of former Blues Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, or allow Chelsea’s continued persistence with struggling former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.
His goals tally at Chelsea is decent, if unspectacular, notching 15 goals since the start of 2011-12 over 52 appearances. The forward has all the attributes to succeed, with pace, finishing prowess and excellent technical ability – something that will have piqued Rodgers’ interest, but inconsistency has plagued Sturridge throughout his career. Fortunately, he has youth on his side, as well as undoubtedly possessing supreme confidence in his own abilities, bordering dangerously towards arrogance. Rodgers will hope to be able to get the best out of Sturridge’s mercurial talent.
Ince, the 20 year old son of former England star Paul Ince, has excelled in the Championship, rising in prominence this year after scoring 13 goals in 21 appearances for Blackpool this season. If the move goes ahead, Ince will find himself in familiar surroundings at Anfield; He came through the Academy before leaving Liverpool just 16 months ago for a nominal compensation fee after rejecting the offer of a new contract with the Reds in order to further his fledgling career, having made just one substitute appearance in the League Cup during his spell at Liverpool.
The risky, and brave, career move seems to have paid off, with his performances for the Seasiders attracting the interest of his former employers. The move will ensure eyebrows are raised as Liverpool are set to pay around £4-6million for a player that was on their books little over a year ago, but it is unlikely that Ince would have progressed as far if he had stayed at the club. Rodgers will seemingly continue to place faith in youth as already this season, with Raheem Sterling becoming a regular starter while Andre Wisdom and Suso have also featured.
What do you think of these signings? Both represent risks, as Sturridge has falttered to decieve at times with Ince lacks experience at Premiership level. However, Rodgers believes that the duo can bring much-needed goals and support to the Reds attack as Liverpool look to launch an assault on the top four. Do you think these signings will be successful? Please leave your comments below.