#SG25 No. 5 — Daniel Sturridge: The dancer

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

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At 25 years old, Daniel Sturridge has already been on the books at Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. On paper, that’s truly impressive. But until last year, despite widespread recognition of his potential, he was never thought of as a leading man for a top club. He was much closer to the guy listed in the movie credits as “athletic guy kicking soccer ball.” But now look at him.

Since joining Brendan Rodgers’ crew in 2013, Sturridge has helped Liverpool emerge from an Ice Age, finishing second in the Premier League after three straight seasons without qualifying for the Champions League. That, in no small part, was a result of the exploits of the prolific Luis Suárez. But just as necessary to Liverpool’s rise were the 36 goals Sturridge has scored in only 52 total appearances. Only one year after playing sparingly for Chelsea (scoring only 2 goals in 12 total appearances), Sturridge was in the 2013-2014 PFA Team of the Year and second in the Premier League’s Golden Boot race. No wonder he’s been dancing after goals, and shopping like he’s finally found a home.

Late night shop… What's everyone's fave food?

A photo posted by Daniel Sturridge – Dstudge (@iamdanielsturridge) on

And inspiring Jamie Carragher to awkward dance.

Priceless memories…

A photo posted by Daniel Sturridge – Dstudge (@iamdanielsturridge) on

Much like his Liverpool teammate, Raheem Sterling, Sturridge — who often looks like a cross between Shabba Ranks, an early 1990s Jodeci video, and a malnourished Undertaker (see Instagram pictures below) — isn’t afraid to dress up for the camera. In many ways it’s a welcome departure from the days of Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Peter Crouch (who may have been No. 26 on the #SG25). There’s a fresher, more dynamic feel about Sturridge. He doesn’t hesitate to express himself both on and off the field.

http://instagram.com/p/lVTFyVHNZZ

http://instagram.com/p/nvxsFbHNd9

But here’s why we believe in Sturridge: He’s a personality changer, both in style and substance. Liverpool needed a makeover, not just in the standings, but in the style department. Their reliance on a hard-working ethos was endearing, but it left little else for the imagination to digest. The club felt stuck in the days of black and white. Perhaps Brendan Rodgers deserves equal praise for Liverpool’s rehab, but Sturridge has added punch in every conceivable category.

And the same applies to England. We all remember Peter Crouch’s robot celebrations. They were joyous to witness. But Sturridge’s dynamism on the ball combined with his pace and celebrations offers so much more. During the 2014 World Cup, between Sturridge, Sterling, and Welbeck, England, even though it didn’t qualify for the knockout stage, had some truly breathtaking moments in attack. This isn’t Neymar breathing life into Brazil, but it is Sturridge breathing personality into England.

Will Sturridge, once he’s back from injury, continue making over Liverpool and England in his own image? Well, we’re as eager to find out as anyone. And that’s why Daniel Sturridge is where he is on the #SG25. That, and his Twitter game.

The Fake numbers

Player Game play Social Media Fashion Social Life Misc. Talent Personal #Brand TCI Score
Daniel Sturridge 9.0 7.0 8.0 8.0 8.5 9.0 84.92
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