Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and why not everyone deserves a second chance at Liverpool
Everyone deserves a second chance, the old saying goes. Daniel Sturridge has been on a one-man mission to prove that point this summer.
Have endured a disappointing, injury-laden loan spell with relegated West Bromwich Albion last season, it’s safe to he is grabbing his Liverpool reprieve with both hands.
The England international top-scored for the Reds in pre-season with six goals before netting his first of the campaign with his very first touch after coming on against West Ham United on Sunday.
While he may never fully recapture the form that saw him lead Liverpool’s failed title charge alongside Luis Suarez in 2013/14, he remains the Reds’ go-to man on the bench as their leading alternative to Roberto Firmino .
A temporary spell at the Hawthorns was supposed to be his rebirth and earn him not only a summer move, but a place in Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad as well.
His time at West Brom may have failed on both counts but it has belatedly acted as the benchmark for the striker’s revival.
Frequently written off in recent years because of his injury problems, how Sturridge has breathed new life into his Anfield career is admirable.
Now accepting of his body’s capabilities and his role in Jurgen Klopp’s set-up, he has brought his Liverpool career back from the brink.
Previously a certainty to be departing Anfield this summer, Sturridge now looks as good as at any other time in his Reds career under Klopp, and a player his club simply can’t do without.
However, other players have been unable to take advantage of such an opportunity when handed it by Liverpool bosses.
Be it through injury, inconsistency or off-field issues, these are the players who failed to grasp their second chance to forge a career at Anfield.
If only Fabio Aurelio had been able to stay fit. The talented left-back’s injury problems saw him take a little while to win over the Anfield crowd following his move from Valencia after reuniting with Rafael Benitez, but once out on the pitch, he soon showed his class.
Enjoying his best spell during the 2008/09 season as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League, the full-back was included in the Brazil squad that season but had to drop out because of injury.
Missing the start of the 2009/10 season after injuring himself playing beach football with his children, Aurelio left the club at the end of his contract after failing to agree on a new pay-as-you-play deal.
However, following Benitez’s departure, he was re-signed by Roy Hodgson later that summer.
Opting for a new squad number for his fresh start at Anfield, the defender had hoped to put his injury problems of the past behind him but his second stint with the club proved to be underwhelming.
Behind Paul Konchesky in the pecking order as his injury issues persisted, Aurelio made just three appearances under Kenny Dalglish in 2011/12 before leaving Anfield for a second time.
Brendan Rodgers’ first signing at Liverpool, Fabio Borini enjoyed a promising start to his Reds career as he marked his home debut with a goal against FC Gomel but that was as good as it got for the Italian at Anfield.
A broken foot and dislocated shoulder, alongside the arrival of Sturridge in January 2013, saw him quickly drop down the pecking order at Anfield and he spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Sunderland.
Rejecting a permanent move back to Wearside despite Liverpool agreeing a fee with the Black Cats, Borini vowed to stay at Anfield and fight for his place.
With the Reds struggling for goals, Borini was handed sporadic starts as Rodgers desperately tried to find a formula that worked.
But despite his competition for a role in attack being the injured Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli, the striker made just 12 league appearances in Liverpool’s disappointing 2014/15 campaign.
Infamously starting against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions League, Borini was later sent off after coming on as a substitute against Arsenal in December 2014.
And although he scored his only goal of the season the following month against Aston Villa, the writing was on the wall for the forward and he returned to Sunderland permanently at the end of the season.
The expectation was high when Joe Cole joined Liverpool on a free transfer from Chelsea in 2010.
However, having battled back from a serious injury during his final years in London, the midfielder never looked up to the pace at Anfield as he struggled to recapture the form that had once seen him stand as one of England’s most talented players.
Starting his Reds career with a red card on his league debut against Arsenal before missing a penalty against Trabzonspor, the playmaker fell out of favour following Dalglish’s appointment as manager before spending the 2011/12 season on loan at Lille OSC.
Handed a second chance with the Reds after Brendan Rodgers’ appointment as manager, Cole made just ten appearances for Liverpool during the first half of the 2012/13 season.
Despite scoring twice against Young Boys and former club West Ham United, he returned to the latter in January following a miserable stay on Merseyside.
Signed as long-standing John Arne Riise’s replacement, Andrea Dossena proved to be a another disappointing signing at Anfield as poor performances were blamed on an suitability to the English game.
Despite an injury to Aurelio presenting him with another chance in the first team, the Italian lost his place to emerging left-back Emiliano Insua.
Utilised as an auxiliary left-winger from the bench, Dossena did famously score in successive victories over Real Madrid and Manchester United, but looked destined to move on after losing his shirt number to new signing Glen Johnson that summer.
However, the full-back remained at Anfield though he never looked in danger of winning a first team place.
Handed just three starts in the first half of the 2009/10 season, Dossena’s final appearance for the club came in an embarassing 2-0 defeat to struggling Portsmouth in December 2009 before he returned to Italy to sign for Napoli the following month.
A firm fan-favourite at Anfield, Sakho overcame initial inconsistent performances and injury to establish himself as a key man under Jurgen Klopp, scoring in famous victories over Borussia Dortmund and Everton.
That was until he was investigated by UEFA for violating an anti-doping rule, however, with the defender missing Liverpool’s Europa League Final clash with Sevilla and Euro 2016 as a result.
Although the case was dismissed in July 2016 and the Frenchman was handed a second chance at Anfield, the aforementioned games would remain his last two for the club.
Needing to prove his importance to the Reds all over again, Sakho was sent home from Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States by manager Jürgen Klopp for not respecting the rules that had been put in place for the squad.
Demoted to train with the Reds’ Under-23s side, he resisted a move away from Anfield that summer before eventually joining Crystal Palace on loan the following January with the move being made permanent in August 2017.
Joining Liverpool on a free from Bayer Leverkusen in July 2007, Andriy Voronin enjoyed a promising start to his Liverpool career as he scored three goals in his first four appearances for the club.
But despite featuring regularly as Rafael Benitez rotated his side during the opening months of the campaign, the growing importance of Fernando Torres and an ankle injury suffered in January 2008 saw his first team opportunities soon dry up.
Spending the 2008/09 season on loan at Hertha Berlin, the Ukraine international returned to Anfield the following summer but was mainly limited to substitute appearances despite Torres’ increasing number of injuries.
Handed an unlikely reprieve, Voronin started his last two appearances for the club as the Reds suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Fulham, before missing a number of good chances in a 1-1 Champions League draw with Lyon that would play a big part in Liverpool’s exit from the competition.
He would remain unused for the next two months before completing a January move to Dynamo Moscow.
While Sturridge has managed to make the most of his second opportunity at Anfield, such incidents in football are rare with a number of the striker’s current team-mates who have been linked with moves in recent weeks prime examples.
Despite failing to impress Klopp having been packed off on numerous loan spells, Lazar Markovic remains a Liverpool player but is highly likely to leave the club before the end of the month.
Sturridge’s own upturn in form seems to have pushed Divock Origi closer to the exit door following a disappointing pre-season, after the Belgian endured a tough time on loan at VfL Wolfsburg last season.
Meanwhile, Loris Karius’ second stint as Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper is over following the £65million signing of Alisson in the summer.
The German successfully wrestled the position back from Simon Mignolet during the second half of last season, but despite some initial impressive performances, his Champions League Final horror-showing continues to be a dark cloud over his head.
Whether the trio are able to replicate Sturridge should they stay at Anfield remains to be seen.
But, as the Liverpool number 15 has proven emphatically, when given the opportunity you have to make sure you make the most of it.http://www.liverpool-cy.com/mamadou-sakho-daniel-sturridge-and-why-not-everyone-deserves-a-second-chance-at-liverpool/News