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Goodbye? Why Sturridge should leave Liverpool... and England

COMMENT: About a week ago, Everton completed a not-so-shocking deal for long-serving Arsenal forward, Theo Walcott.

The 28-year-old winger had been at Arsenal for 12 years prior to his move to Everton, and garnered a reputation for being one of the fastest players in the Premier League. Bar a few good seasons, the England international never really found consistency at Arsenal and eventually opted to leave due to a lack of ample playing time.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge draws parallels to Walcott. Whilst Sturridge hasn't been at Liverpool for nearly as long as Walcott spent at Arsenal, he's in a similar situation as his compatriot given his career has been on a decline since his 21 goal haul in the 2013/14 Premier League campaign also known as the legendary 'Suarez' season.

On his day, Sturridge isn't far off from Sergio Aguero. He's got the ability to take players on, he possesses the intelligence to move into attacking positions and he's capable of bringing other players into play thus making his team's movements in the attacking third unpredictable.

Too bad he hardly gets those days on the pitch anymore considering each member of Liverpool's front three - Mane, Firmino and Salah – have earned regular starting berths for their impressive performances, making a spirited return of Sturridge an unrealistic prospect.

The 28-year-old Englishman is at an age where he needs to be playing competitive football on a regular basis. Turning out every once in a while for a brief nostalgia show at Anfield will only further cement his reputation as a 'on his day' player and hurt his chances of representing his country at the 2018 World Cup.

Four of Sturridge's nine Premier League appearances have come as a substitute, and with two goals and a solitary assist in those apps, he's not done much to claw his way back up the pecking order at Liverpool.

Quite frankly Liverpool have moved on from Sturridge. They're done waiting for the 28-year-old to return to the height of his powers, and on that note, Sturridge would do well to opt for a move away from Anfield in a bid to salvage his career and maybe, just maybe, rediscover the form that nearly saw him attain the status of a world-class player.

Inter Milan are reportedly interested in signing the Englishman on a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of his loan spell. With Mauro Icardi on Real Madrid's radar, it makes sense, more so because a temporary deal would afford Internazionale the opportunity to ascertain what Sturridge's effectiveness without spending big just in case he's unable to settle in.

A move to a different league could be the fresh start Sturridge needs in a bid to get his career back on track. The England international has garnered interest from the likes of West Ham, Southampton and even Liverpool's fierce rivals Everton over the past few months but both clubs would further hamper Sturridge's progress given they're not in the best of times by their standards.

Like Walcott it'd be difficult for Sturridge to attract solid offers from Premier League clubs in the top eight considering his poor record in recent seasons; so should he decide to stay in the English top flight he'd have to settle for a mid-table side or a relegation struggler.

Internazionale, though, are a club with a rich history and a promising future as evidenced by their current standing in the Serie A (4th). They've not had a problem-free season, but they look poised to end the campaign on a high note.

Sevilla are also reportedly keen on signing Sturridge on loan. Whilst their La Liga campaign hasn't gone according to plan, they're just three points away from the top four; hence a Champions League finish remains on the cards for them, which makes the Andalusian club a viable option for Sturridge.

A change of scenery could get the 28-year-old firing on all cylinders again; which would, in turn, put him in contention for a place in the England squad for the World Cup.

At this stage, it is unknown whether Sturridge will opt for a move to a different league, but one thing's for sure, he's in dire need of a fresh start, something other Premier League clubs may be unable to provide.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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