Daniel Sturridge: Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea man was my childhood idol

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge reveals that Nicolas Anelka was his footballing idol as a young player

daniel sturridge
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge speaks to BT Sport Photo: BT Sport

Daniel Sturridge has revealed that Nicolas Anelka was his footballing idol as a young player.

The Liverpool striker was fortunate to have the chance to train and play alongside the former France international during his spell at Chelsea.

And Sturridge admits that playing with the likes of Anelka and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba helped shape him as a player before his transfer to Liverpool from the Blues in January 2013.

Anelka was my idol when I was a kid growing up

Daniel Sturridge

Asked about his former clubs, Sturridge told BT Sport: “Playing for Chelsea and learning new things, learning movement, training with guys like Didier, playing with them, being close up to world class strikers Anelka and Didier.

“Anelka was my idol when I was a kid growing up, I always used to love watching him play. To watch them close up and to play with them was a great honour for myself.”

Sturridge also reflected on his time at Manchester City and developing his game with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards.

The Liverpool forward continued: “At Man City, growing up with the likes of Wright-Phillips and seeing him and Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha, Stephen Ireland, all them guys helped me become who I am today and I’m grateful to the academy system. They all helped in my career. So I’m always thankful to them for what they’ve done.”

Sturridge, who has only just returned to action following a five-month spell out with thigh and calf injuries, has scored two goals and made one assist in six Premier League games for Brendan Rodgers’ men so far this season.

He played for 74 minutes as Liverpool beat top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in the Premier League at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Watch the full interview on ‘Owen Meets Sturridge’ at 22:00 GMT on BT Sport 1 on Thursday. Watch Crystal Palace v Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round on BT Sport 1 from 17:00 GMT on Saturday.

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