13 August 2012 12:53
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge hopes the departure of Didier Drogba will open up more chances for him to impress at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba ended his stay at the London club at the end of last season, joining Shanghai Shenhua in China, while another Blues striker, Romelu Lukaku, has moved to West Brom on loan.
Sturridge featured mainly as a winger last season, but is now only one of two recognised strikers at the club along with Fernando Torres.
“I hope so,” he told the club’s official website when asked if he expected to see increased playing time. “I’ve grown up a lot since I first joined the club.
“It’s my fourth season with the club so it’s going to be a big year, and a big year for everybody, but definitely a huge year for myself to prove to some people what I can do.”
After starting the 2011/12 campaign in impressive form, scoring eight of his 11 league goals before the end of December, the 22-year-old found his chances limited during the second half of the season.
“Obviously I wasn’t happy about that but you move on,” he said. “It was a good end to the season, we won two trophies. Hopefully this season we’ll have some success.
“I’m a confident person and I’m confident in my ability. I played out of position the whole season and didn’t get an opportunity as a striker.
“It was good to play, but I was out of position for the 43 games I played. At the end of the day I was happy to help the team last season and hopefully I’ll help them again this season.
“When you play a new position it gives you a new look on how to play football. Sometimes when strikers play on the wing they take shots on when they shouldn’t and they play in a certain way because they have a mentality of scoring goals.
“If you put any striker on the wing they’d have the same mentality as I did, which was to try and create chances but also score goals. That’s the main thing a striker feeds off and gets his confidence from.”