x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Sir Alex Ferguson cool over Daniel Sturridge signing

Sunday's match is between 'two of the biggest clubs in the world', says Anfield's new striker.

Daniel Sturridge, right, could start alongside Luis Suarez against Manchester United at Old Trafford in today's match. Jon Super / AP Photo
Daniel Sturridge, right, could start alongside Luis Suarez against Manchester United at Old Trafford in today's match. Jon Super / AP Photo

Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, thinks Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers has taken a risk in signing Daniel Sturridge.

Having been left with only Luis Suarez as a regular striker when the last transfer window closed, Rodgers moved quickly in this one to supplement his forward options.

Sturridge is an England international, but his four caps equal the number of clubs he has played for, with a period on loan at Bolton Wanderers in addition to spells with Manchester City and Chelsea before his £12 million (Dh71.4m) Anfield move.

He could start alongside Suarez today at Old Trafford, but Ferguson feels his ability cannot be taken for granted.

"The big issue for Liverpool is whether they include new signing Daniel Sturridge," Ferguson told United Review. "Certainly the arrival of Sturridge gives Brendan Rodgers more strength and options up front.

"Sturridge has had a few clubs but I don't blame him for jumping at the chance of joining Liverpool because he just wasn't playing regularly with Chelsea and I always rate a player whose priority is wanting to play. Even so, his track record moving between a number of clubs suggests Brendan Rodgers is taking a bit of a gamble, but he clearly knows what he is doing."

Meanwhile, Rodgers admits his side are some way off matching United's dominance, but he is confident it can be achieved.

It is almost 23 years since Liverpool won their last league title and in the intervening period they have had to watch their arch-rivals accumulate championships with regularity.

"Of course Manchester United have been very dominant over a number of years but this is a football club that also had dominance for many years," said Rodgers.

"What you are always fighting for, every day, is to get back to that level. It's a long, hard journey but it has to start somewhere."

Liverpool head to Old Trafford 21 points behind leaders United. Only once since Ferguson joined United in 1987 have Liverpool been so far behind them at this stage - in 1994 under Graeme Souness.

This week new signing Sturridge insisted there was no club in England bigger than Liverpool and Rodgers said: "It's two of the biggest clubs in the world, not just in Britain. Two clubs who are renowned worldwide. It's history that makes a club."

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