- LocationBirmingham, England
- Squad Number15
Daniel Sturridge boosted Liverpool’s striking ranks when he arrived at Anfield from Chelsea on the second day of 2013.
The striker was born in Birmingham on September 1, 1989 and began his youth career at his hometown club Aston Villa before moving to Coventry and then Manchester City in 2003.
He faced Liverpool for the first time in 2006 in the FA Youth Cup final. The youngest player in the City side, Sturridge fired four goals en route to the final but the young Reds proved too strong as they ran-out 3-2 winners on aggregate.
Sturridge’s impressive form at youth level earned him his first professional contract and at the start of the 2006-07 season, the forward began to train with City’s first team.
Despite making his debut as a substitute against Reading in February 2007, the youngster was forced to endure a nine-month absence following an operation to repair muscle damage around his hip which ruled him out for the remainder of the year.
Fully-recovered and determined to make his mark, Sturridge netted his first professional goal in January 2008 and three days later he added another to his tally when he struck on his full debut against Derby.
The 2007-08 season ended in glory for him, albeit at youth level, when he was top-scorer as City won the FA Youth Cup.
The following season saw Sturridge break into the City first team, making 16 appearances and netting four goals while creating three assists. His flourishing performances were acknowledged with the club’s Young Player of the Season award.
However, accepting the award was to be one of his final acts as a City player, for in July 2009 his contract expired and the 19-year-old opted for a move to Chelsea.
Following an impressive pre-season, he made his debut for Carlo Ancelotti’s title winners-to-be against Sunderland in August 2009 and got his first start for the club against Bolton at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup.
At the end of his first season at Chelsea, Sturridge was the club’s highest scorer in the FA Cup with four strikes as the Londoners clinched the double with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth at Wembley.
The 2010-11 campaign saw Sturridge make his Champions League bow against Slovakian outfit MSK Zilina and net four goals in 21 games; however, on the last day of the transfer window in January 2011, it was announced that the forward would be on his way to Bolton as part of a loan deal.
Sturridge shone at the Reebok. He netted on his debut for Owen Coyle’s side and was a consistent scorer in the Barclays Premier League, ending his stay there with a total of eight goals in 12 appearances – including one against Arsenal.
Back at Chelsea, new manager Andre Villas-Boas used Sturridge in a wide role, urging him to cut inside and shoot from the right flank.
He was named as a substitute in both the FA Cup and Champions League finals by Villas-Boas’ replacement Roberto Di Matteo and finished the 2011-12 season with a tally of 13 goals.
But his time at Chelsea was clearly drawing to a close and Brendan Rodgers swooped to bring Sturridge to Merseyside, concluding a deal at the outset of the 2013 January transfer window.
Perhaps neither man could have anticipated such an instant impact, as Sturridge scored seven minutes into his debut against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup on January 6.
Another strike followed from the substitutes’ bench at Old Trafford a week later and by notching at home to Norwich, Sturridge became the first Liverpool player for almost 40 years to score in each of his first three appearances for the club.
The goals kept coming for the instinctive finisher, who notched a first professional hat-trick with a sumptuous treble during the Reds’ 3-1 victory over Fulham on May 12, 2013.
Although injury hindered Sturridge’s 2013-14 pre-season preparations, the No.15 hit the ground running by scoring in each of the first five fixtures and further developing his sublime partnership with Luis Suarez.
By the end of a prolific campaign, Daniel had registered more than 20 times for the Reds, helping to inspire a second-place Premier League finish and firmly establishing himself as England’s main striker.
His personal exploits saw him hailed by his peers, who nominated him for both the PFA Player of the Year Award and the PFA Young Player of the Year. Sturridge’s 21 league goals made him the runner-up to strike partner Luis Suarez for the Premier League Golden Boot.
After his successful season he travelled to Brazil for the World Cup in June 2014 and was on the scoresheet as Roy Hodgson’s outfit were overturned 2-1 by Italy in their opening match of the tournament.
Sturridge began the 2014-15 season in trademark fashion, netting the winning goal in an opening-day victory over Southampton at Anfield, and soon reaffirmed his commitment to the Liverpool cause by signing a new long-term deal in October 2014.
The 2014-15 season was a frustrating one for Sturridge, as despite his stellar play while on the field, injuries prevented him matching his previous exploits.