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Perth Glory have announced one of the highest-profile signings in Australian football history, with former Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge agreeing to a one-year deal with the club.
Sturridge is heading to Australia having completed a four-month ban for breaching betting rules, with the 32-year-old sent packing from Turkish club Trabzonspor in March last year over the scandal.
The former Liverpool and English national team scorer's signing generated an immediate reaction from football fans excited to see the champion in action.
Sturridge boasts an incredible resume, as a two-time UEFA Champions League and FA Cup winner who scored 67 goals during a six-year spell at Liverpool and also won a Premier League title with Chelsea.
At international level, the star striker was part of England's squad at both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 UEFA European Championships and featured for Team Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The last of his 27 senior appearances for England came in 2017.
Sturridge has not played for a professional side in 18 months and is excited to begin a new chapter at the Glory.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to try a new challenge," Sturridge said.
"When the opportunity came about, it felt like the right thing to do, to take my talent somewhere where I can enjoy my football in a competitive league and try and help the team be as successful as they possibly can be.
"I'm going to put my best foot forward, work hard and try and help the team win each game that comes by and then we'll see where we end up when the season finishes."
Most fans were thrilled by Perth's signing of Sturridge, however some held a raised eyebrow after the veteran's enforced absence from football in 2020.
So visibility is going to be extremely important, and now there's a star player who can go on Ch 10 and get the word out. Sturridge is a huge gamble for Glory given injury history, time out of the game... but the comp needed this. Another one like him would do quite nicely.
— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) October 1, 2021
Australian fans are in for a treat.
A-League side Perth Glory have confirmed the signing of former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge for the 2021/22 campaign. #LFC
— Liam Bekker (@LiamBekker) October 1, 2021
Sturridge signing great news for Melbourne football fans too.. after @PerthGloryFC first game, the next 3 Glory fixtures will be played in Melbourne. Get along folks..
— Michael Zappone (@Michael_Zappone) October 1, 2021
Sturridge is an enormous signing. Diamanti & Honda are massive names & closer to their prime but it’s up there with the biggest in terms of fan recognition here in @aleaguemen since Del Piero.
Only 32, hugely talented goalscorer but a different character. Injuries also a worry.
— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) October 1, 2021
Daniel Sturridge to @PerthGloryFC has all the makings of a brilliant @aleaguemen signing. A well-known international at a good age with a quality scoring record and even better celebration. Excellent for GIFs.
— Richard Bayliss (@RSBayliss) October 1, 2021
Ah excellent. We’re back to devouring our own. Anyway, Sturridge. Decent name. If fit surely will be successful. Big brand boost locally for Perth and will create some level of broader interest (LFC). Sits somewhere around the Heskey area for me in terms of names. Uncle better. pic.twitter.com/XsACLDQHOL
— Stuart Randall (@StuartRandall) October 1, 2021
Perth Glory thrilled with Daniel Sturridge signing in A-League
Sturridge, who got his first big break at Manchester City, is one of the most high-profile players to ever sign for an A-League Men's club.
Others include Italian great Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney), Dwight Yorke (Sydney), Robbie Fowler (North Queensland/Perth), William Gallas (Perth), Harry Kewell (Melbourne Victory/Melbourne Heart), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Keisuke Honda (Melbourne Victory) and David Villa (Melbourne City).
"Daniel is undoubtedly one of the biggest signings not only in Glory's history, but in the history of the A-League," Glory owner Tony Sage said.
"His arrival signals in no uncertain terms how determined we are to bring sustained success to the club and the lengths we will go to in order to achieve that goal.
"We know the elite-level quality Daniel will bring to the side and are hugely excited to see him wearing the famous purple this season."
In other A-League news, Melbourne Victory have shored up their A-League Men defence, signing Portuguese centre-back Roderick Miranda on a two-season deal.
Miranda, 30, most recently played for Turkish Super Lig side Gaziantep, where he made 13 appearances before becoming a free agent in July, but has played in Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, England and Greece throughout his career.
He started his career at Portuguese powerhouse Benfica and was later involved in English club Wolverhampton's 2017-18 promotion season from the Championship to the Premier League before joining Greek giants Olympiacos.
"Roderick comes to Melbourne Victory with a great pedigree and qualities that have seen him play at the highest levels in Europe," coach Tony Popovic said.
"He possesses the physical and technical attributes that will complement our playing style this season."
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