AVB - Sturridge never leaving

Chelsea boss insists young forward always part of his plans

By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey.   Last Updated: 12/09/11 8:42am

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Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas insists that he never had any intention of loaning out Daniel Sturridge again this year.

The Portuguese tactician was able to use the 22-year-old striker for the first time this season at the weekend after he served a three-match suspension at the start of the campaign.

Villas-Boas started with Sturridge at Sunderland and his faith was rewarded with an excellent display, which included the winning goal thanks to an exquisite piece of skill as he back-heeled the ball beyond Simon Mignolet.

But Villas-Boas insists that, despite summer speculation over Sturridge, he and his staff never contemplated letting him leave again after he finished last season on loan at Bolton.

"We had a lot of teams calling Daniel to take him on loan during the transfer window but it was never going to happen," Villas-Boas confirmed.

"The technical staff and I all had the feeling we should bring him in. We have an outstanding player.

"There is competition for all the main forward positions and it's important we have that."

Delight

Sturridge himself was delighted with his role in the win, which saw him play on the flank as part of a forward three, and that is something he is more than happy to do.

"I've worked really hard after Bolton gave me the chance to show my ability," he said.

"I was playing there as a centre-forward. But the manager here has asked me to play on the right wing, which I'm happy to do for the team of course.

"It's a different position - you have to adapt your game for that position. For me I've always felt it's something I can do.

"I'm not really a number nine or a number ten, I'm kind of in-between. I like to drop off, I like to go long. For me it's not a problem to play in that position.

"I'm so happy that the manager has put so much faith in me.

"It's been a bit frustrating because I've been suspended for the start of the season and I didn't know if the manager was going to put me straight back in the team.

"But I'm happy that he did, even though we'd won the last two games. The future hopefully is for me to continue playing games in the team, successfully with the team winning games.

"We want to get medals back to Chelsea, the ones we didn't get last season."

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