Micah Richards insists former side Manchester City are ‘missing a trick’ by not bringing Daniel Sturridge back to the club.
The 31-year-old is currently without a club following the termination of his contract at Trabzonspor in March, six months after signing a three-year deal with the Turkish club shortly before being banned from football for four months for breaching betting rules.
Pep Guardiola is currently short of striking options, with Sergio Aguero picking up another injury, this time to his hamstring, during the 1-1 draw at West Ham at the weekend, while Gabriel Jesus remains sidelined with a thigh problem suffered at Wolves.
Micah Richards insists Manchester City are ‘missing a trick’ by re-signing Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge is currently a free agent after his contract at Trabzonspor was terminated in March
But writing in his BBC Sport column, Sportsmail columnist Richards – who played alongside Sturridge at City for three years – believes the striker still has much to offer Premier League side and insists that does not exclude his former club.
‘It would have been easy for Daniel to walk away from the game, but he’s still hungry,’ Richards said.
‘He went to Turkey last year to get away from all of that talk about him being injury-prone and get some games under his belt, to show he can stay fit. He was doing well with Trabzonspor and was enjoying it before he got hit by a ban for breaching betting rules.
‘When he plays football again it might be with another team abroad, but I can’t help but think that there are several clubs in the Premier League who are missing a trick by not signing him.
City are currently short of attackers after Sergio Aguero suffered another injury at West Ham
Fellow forward Gabriel Jesus remains sidelined following his thigh injury suffered at Wolves
‘I would include City in that, just to fill in while Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are injured. Even if he was half-fit, he would score goals in that side.
‘At the moment it almost feels like people have forgotten how good he is, but Daniel still has time to remind them, and show everyone what he is really all about.’
Sturridge made his breakthrough at City in 2006 before moving to Chelsea three years later.
Richards’ comments come after the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker admitted he has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to prevent the injuries that have been so damaging to his footballing career.
And Richards insists that Sturridge would still have plenty to offer Pep Guardiola’s side
‘I’d spend loads of money outside of the physios at work to do extra stuff to ensure that I can be as healthy as possible,’ Sturridge said earlier this month.
‘Hundreds of thousands, to be fair, you know, to make sure that my body has to be in the best shape possible.
‘And sometimes, you can do, you can put the hours in, you can do everything. But sometimes it is just luck.’
Richards (left) and Sturridge (right) were team-mates before the latter left for Chelsea in 2009
Meanwhile, Sportsmail revealed on Monday that City are expected to have to do without Aguero for a month as the club’s injury-ravaged start to the season continues.
‘With Sergio’s injury, 10-15 days is the minimum,’ Guardiola said ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Marseille.
‘If it’s a little bit longer it will be three weeks, one month. The muscular ones normally do not move [beyond] these [parameters]. Sergio will be the same, there will be no exception.’
- Micah Richards: Daniel Sturridge does not deserve label as problem player – BBC Sport