Inter Miami To Save Former England Star’s Career?

Inter Miami To Save Former England Daniel Sturridge’s Career?
Daniel Sturridge

Things could have gone better for Inter Miami in last season’s MLS. It would have been too big an ask for the team to win a major trophy during its first season in the competition, but finishing so far down the order wasn’t part of the plan. Better was expected of a team that has David Beckham’s name attached to it, and doing better will definitely be the objective for the 2021 season. Beckham’s former Manchester United and England teammate Phil Neville is now installed as the team’s head coach, and efforts are still being made to strengthen the playing squad.

Daniel Sturridge

One of those efforts appears to involve a high stakes gamble. According to rumors that have begun to circulate in the soccer world during the past week, Inter Miami has engaged in a tug-of-war with DC United over former Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge’s signature. When you look at the stats, the move makes sense. Sturridge has scored 8 goals in 26 appearances at international level – not a bad return on that stage. He also scored 50 Premier League goals in 116 appearances for Liverpool to go with 13 in 63 at Chelsea and 5 in 21 at Manchester City. Most of his Chelsea and Manchester City appearances were from the bench, which limited his goal scoring chances. His record at Liverpool is impressive and suggests he should be in the running for the Golden Boot in the MLS. In this case, though, the stats don’t tell the whole story.

Daniel Sturridge’s Past Injuries

Although he insists he’s as fit as he’s ever been, the past few years of Sturridge’s career have been blighted by injuries and controversy. His injury issues saw him loaned away from Liverpool to West Bromwich Albion in 2018, where he failed to score in six appearances before yet another injury brought his time there to a premature halt. Liverpool eventually elected not to renew his contract at the end of the 2019 season, leaving Sturridge without a club. He apparently turned down offers to stay in England in favour of signing with Turkish club Trabzonspor. At first, things went well. Sturridge appeared to adjust to life in Turkey quickly, scoring four goals in his first eleven appearances. Unfortunately for him and the club, that’s as far as things got.

Injuries weren’t the issue this time. Before moving to Trabzonspor, a move to Sevilla in Spain seemed to be on the cards for the free agent. So confident was Sturridge of his prospects of joining Sevilla that he allegedly told his brother to place a bet on it. The move didn’t work out, so Sturridge’s sibling lost his cash, but that didn’t matter to the soccer authorities. Professional players are prohibited from entering into gambling activity where it pertains to game outcomes or transfers. Sturridge was investigated and found guilty. As well as a fine of over two hundred thousand dollars, Sturridge was banned from all football activity for four months. Trabzonspor responded by terminating his contract. The ban has long since expired, but Sturridge has been without a club ever since.

Betting rules when it comes to football can be complicated, and it’s worth noting that Sturridge has always protested his innocence. The lines on what a player can or can’t say about a transfer, another game, or another team aren’t always clear. Non-football related gambling activity is fine. Sturridge could, for example, go to Rose Slots IE and play any online slots game of his choosing. He could even choose one of the website’s various soccer-themed online slots, and there would be no problem. His status as a footballer has no bearing on the randomly-generated outcome of an online slots bet, so no offence would have been committed. He could not, though, bet on a football game even if it happens in a league and country that he doesn’t play in. Nor can he bet on the likely outcome of a transfer deal, and especially not one that he’s involved in. Sturridge’s case has always been that he didn’t directly tell his brother to place the bet, but his complaints fell on deaf ears.

Sturridge’s Talent

A striker of Sturridge’s pedigree shouldn’t have had an issue finding a new club. He has winners medals for the Premier League, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup, and the UEFA Champions League twice (once with Chelsea and once with Liverpool) to go with all his other accomplishments. At the time of his release in Turkey, he was only 30 years old – theoretically in his prime. He’s not played professional football since his contract was terminated, and that was in March 2020. He’s not been selected to play for his country since 2017. Sturridge is now 31. Players play for longer than they used to – especially in the MLS – but a 31-year-old with a full year’s worth of rust to shake off is likely to face an uphill battle when it comes to match fitness. Sturridge is likely to be after a high salary and may not be in peak condition until several months into the season. There’s surely a good reason why he hasn’t been picked up by a Premier League club, and Inter Miami would be best advised to find out what that reason is.

Enzo Zidane

Sturridge isn’t the only move that the club is looking into at the moment. According to sources in Spain, Enzo Zidane might be making his stay in Florida permanent. Zidane is the son of Zinedine Zidane, the legendary French player who was once considered the best midfielder in the world and currently serves as manager of Real Madrid. Despite his famous name and his connections, the young Zidane has struggled to make the grade in Spain. He made just one appearance during his time with Real Madrid and only made four appearances for Almeria last season. At 26 years old, he appears to have conceded that he’s not going to make it in La Liga and has been on trial with Inter Miami during the close season. Zidane would be another gamble, but at least in this case the trial period has allowed Inter to “try before they buy.”

Should Inter Miami sign one of these players, both of them, or neither of them? That’s down to Beckham and his friend Neville, but as always, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section.


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The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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