Daniel Sturridge’s tally of three Chelsea goals in 29 games since Christmas represents a disappointing return for a player who had briefly thrived under Andres Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge.
After scoring 17 Premier League goals in 2011, Sturridge now finds himself firmly below Fernando Torres in the pecking order for the one striker place and unlikely to get a look in on the flanks.
Roberto Di Matteo left the England international on the bench as an unused substitute for both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League finals in the spring, suggesting he is not wholly impressed either.
The good news for the 23-year-old forward is that there are plenty of big clubs in England still on the look-out for a forward.
Liverpool are the favourites to secure Sturridge’s signature should he move and – unlike Clint Dempsey – the former Bolton loanee is at the right age to interest the Reds.
Raheem Sterling is a fine prospect but Sturridge could offer a greater goal threat in an advanced position on the right. Sturridge is 15/ 8 (2.88) to join Liverpool.
Second-favourites are Tottenham and their manager Villas-Boas will remember what Sturridge is capable of when fit and firing.
Spurs have only two out-and-out strikers while Sturridge would also provide a very different option to Aaron Lennon on the right. He is 9/2 (5.50) to pitch up at White Hart Lane.
Beyond that, do not rule out the prospect of a return to Manchester City as Robert Mancini is a confirmed fan.
“It was strange because Sturridge was developed in Manchester and someone let him go,” said Mancini, quoted in the Daily Mail last year. “For sure, he was one of the best young players at City. It was not difficult to see he was a good player.
“If Sturridge was here today, he’d be in the first team. I’ve watched him many times and know him well. It would have been better for City to send him on loan to improve than let him leave altogether.”
Man City are 7/1 (8.00) to offer Sturridge a route out of Chelsea.
Finally, perhaps Mark Hughes is another former boss that would be keen to give the forward some playing time.
Paddy Power pay out on loan moves and it wouldn’t be a huge shock for Sturridge to make the short move across west London to join QPR. That’s available at 10/1 (11.00).
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here – you can also follow Adam on