Daniel Sturridge is leaving Liverpool on a free transfer. Which MLS club would he be best suited to should he cross the Atlantic?
After six years of goals, injuries and ridiculous dance moves, Daniel Sturridge is finally set to leave Anfield when his contract expires at the end of June. The England international scored a mightily impressive 67 goals in 160 appearances for the red half of Merseyside, playing a key role in their 2013/14 title challenge alongside Luis Suarez and leaving behind a surprisingly impressive legacy. To bow out with a Uefa Champions League win, his only major trophy with Liverpool, seems only too fitting.
However, his career has constantly been rocked by injuries and, in the past couple of seasons, he has looked a shadow of his former self. But still, at just 29 years old, there is the distinct possibility that he could yet reignite his career and mix it with the very best.
Leicester City, managed by Sturridge’s former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, are the early bookmaker’s favourites at 7/2, while Rangers, managed by Liverpool icon and Sturridge’s old teammate at club and international level, Steven Gerrard, are seen as 4/1 shots.
But tucked just behind those two is Major League Soccer, with Sturridge seen as a 6/1 bet to join any club across the pond this summer. It’s hardly a new concept. Sturridge has been linked with a switch to MLS for some time now as his body begins to creak under the pressure of Premier League football. So, could Sturridge mix it with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Josef Martinez and Carlos Vela?
MLS Multiplex takes a look at some of his potential American options.
3. Toronto FC
Toronto FC really are an enigma this season. One minute, they’re tearing through New York City FC in a 3-0 demolition, the next they’re losing 2-1 at home to San Jose and searching desperately for their next win.
What’s the problem? They’re a Sebastian Giovinco short of producing moments of pure magic. I know, I know, we can’t keep talking about a player which left MLS months ago. I’m also aware Alejandro Pozuelo can light it up, too. But what TFC are really missing is someone to dovetail the beast that is Jozy Altidore. The USMNT international really is a bully of a centre-forward, but his size and strength rob him of mobility.
Were he to have someone playing off him who’s quick, fleet-footed and is capable of both providing and being on the end of killer passes, Toronto would be a far more well-rounded side and an absolute shoo-in for a playoff return.
Moreover, as proven with the likes of Giovinco, Altidore, Pozuelo and Michael Bradley, Toronto have absolutely no problem when it comes to attracting big-name players. It’s worth remembering that when Sturridge was at his best, he played alongside Suarez in a two-man strike force. While Greg Vanney has favoured a one-man forward line, he has tested a duo up top on three occasions so far this season and his squad has all the components to make it work.
Adding Sturridge to the ranks would give them that sprinkle of stardust. A bolt from the blue when Vanney can’t quite work out the weaknesses in a low block defence or when Toronto come across a Bill Hamid in inspired form.