Free agent Daniel Sturridge has signed a three-year contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor.
Sturridge, 29, has been out of contract since leaving Liverpool at the end of last season after seven years at Anfield.
Trabzonspor announced his signing on Wednesday, with Sturridge signing a three-year contract for wages reportedly worth up to $3.2 million per season, including bonuses.
Several clubs across the globe were interested in signing Sturridge, who has struggled for playing time over the last few seasons.
The England international has made just 73 PL appearances over the past five seasons, with several injuries curtailing his progress, plus the emergence of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino not helping his cause. He did pop up and scored a crucial goal at Chelsea last season, but he scored just four times in 27 appearances, most of which were cameo displays off the bench.
During his time at Liverpool he ended up winning the UEFA Champions League trophy, as he played in seven UCL games last season but didn’t feature in the final against Tottenham Hotspur.
There will always be a feeling of ‘what might have been?’ for Sturridge at Liverpool, as he never managed to replicated his incredible 2013-14 campaign alongside Luis Suarez. He scored 21 goals in 29 appearances that season but has since struggled for form and fitness and he never really suited Jurgen Klopp‘s style of play.
It will be interesting to see how he fares in Turkey, and it is also intriguing that he decided against joining one of the giants of Istanbul in Besiktas, Galatasaray or Fenerbache. Sturridge reportedly had offers in Spain, the Middle East and from MLS, but it was clear that plenty of PL clubs were put off by his injury issues and the fact that in July he was handed a six week ban (four of which were suspended) for breaching the FA’s betting rules.
Trabzonspor are currently in the UEFA Europa League playoff round, where they face AEK Athens over two legs for a place in the group stage this season. The Turkish Super Lig season started last weekend, as they drew 1-1 at Kasimpasa. Former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel plays in midfield for the Turkish side, while Crystal Palace’s Alexander Sorloth is on loan and will battle for minutes with Sturridge up top.