It’s Monday, and oh, what’s that? Another transfer rumor involving West Ham United and a striker? Shocking. Oh, and the striker is none other than Daniel Sturridge. Stop the presses. The tabloids are out today with the 73,467,823,409,823rd article about the Liverpool striker being a target for West Ham. The wrinkle this time, of course, is that this time to afford the rumored £25 million fee, West Ham would
slogging selling Andy Carroll to some daft clubs that are flush with cash clubs in the Chinese Super League.
After the mess that came out while Carroll was out injured about the reported interest from China and the efforts made by the club to possibly sell him, but not really, this rumor is a logical extension. Obviously, the club seem to be broke and need to sell players to afford overpriced English talent, so it makes sense that the club would sell an overpriced, injury prone English striker that the club bought from Liverpool to buy another overpriced, injury prone English striker from Liverpool.
No one doubts Sturridge’s ability to score goals in the Premier League. The issue is that he’s been unable to stay on the pitch. He’s played more than 20 games for Liverpool exactly once, and played fewer games in 2014-15 and 2015-16 combined than he did in his amazing season in 2013-14 when he was partnered with Luiz Suarez.
Now looking at the same record for Andy Carroll at West Ham. Looks about the same, doesn’t it? Now Sturridge has scored more goals than Carroll has in the past five seasons, 45 to 29, but Carroll has played more games, 94 to 83. In the past five years, neither of them has played even close to half of the 190 league games that their teams played in, never mind cup or European matches. Now Sturridge has been surplus to requirements at Liverpool, but the point is kind of the same, that neither player is someone that a manager can count on to be available week in, week out.
The almost constant drumbeat of links between Sturridge and West Ham have gotten to be white noise at this point, but they make all too much sense. West Ham have had a hilariously sad list of strikers since Gold and Sullivan have taken over, and almost all of them have been terrible. Signing Daniel Sturridge might just be a tabloid rumor or agent talk, but it’s because the team signs strikers that are not good anymore or never were good in the first place. And when young strikers are in the team, like Ashley Fletcher, development seems to be an afterthought.
So will the team sell Carroll to buy Sturridge? It is exactly something that the board would do, bring in a big “name” rather than someone who would fit into the side. If Carroll is sold, expect to see a “big” name come to the London Stadium, if not Sturridge than Christian Benteke from Crystal Palace, another “big” name player that once was surplus to requirements at Liverpool. It could be worse, Robbie Keane is available.