Weighing risks and rewards.
This rumor sure has been buzzing about for awhile. And since way back last January, when the press first hatched this, I haven't formulated a definitive opinion on whether or not I want Sturridge. SamFels touched on this along with the prospect of signing Tom Ince recently, and definitely read that too if you haven't already, but I wanted to expand a little on the pros and cons of Sturridge along with a bit of my own opinion.
The idea of Liverpool purchasing Sturridge is certainly tantalizing, as he is breathing and plays the forward position, the two main criteria that we're looking at right now. Kidding aside, he has goals in him and possesses the type of creativity that can really change a match. At the age of 23, Sturridge already has 26 league goals and 10 assists. Only Gerrard, Cole, and Suarez have that goal tally under their belts in their premiership careers. I've seen enough of Sturridge to know that there is substance and real quality, and in some universe, be it our own or an alternate universe where he lands with the perfect team in the perfect situation, he is bound to have a wonderful career.
Despite calls from many Liverpool supporters that a 12M bid would be excessive and unintelligent, I believe that he could be well worth that price. Want to know excessive and unintelligent? Roy Hodgson almost payed that same fee for Carlton Cole a few years back. To buy someone who clearly has talent and potential, and on top of that is English, a monetary sacrifice must be made. Big teams with big ambitions need to step up sometimes and open up their wallets. Yes, this will burn teams once in awhile. But for every Andy Carroll there is also a Luis Suarez. And at some point the dice must be rolled again.
But unfortunately, there are a lot of questions that follow Sturridge around. I mean it says something that Chelsea aren't exactly denying the rumored sale of this supposedly budding English talent. According to an EPL Opta article (read here), during the two best spurts of play in his career, Sturridge took a ludicrously high volume of shots, which would imply that he scored more goals simply because he kicked it more. This can be looked at as both a positive and negative thing however. We need someone besides Suarez who can come in and predatorily look to go for goal, spreading out a defense. But it is also possible that he'd have a run in with Suarez because of this or that with Rodgers most likely putting him on the wing, the goals would slow down but the shot count would stay the same. And there isn't even a guarantee he'd accept playing the wing with his seemingly arrogant mentality and all.
With the place that Liverpool are at, every important signing will come with a risk. Because the perfect player isn't looking to play for a non Champions League team dwelling mid-table. Is this the risk that we want to take? Is this the ladder to climb out of the hole or just another expensive shovel? To be honest, I'm still not really sure. I'm praying Brendan Rodgers knows, whichever way he decides.
Oh yeah. That Sterling guy put pen to paper.