After completing his transfer to Liverpool earlier today, Daniel Sturridge sat down with Liverpoolfc.com to discuss his ambitions at Anfield – putting a smile on fans' faces chief among them.
Daniel, on behalf of everybody at Liverpool Football Club, welcome. How does it feel to finally be a Liverpool player?
Thank you. I am really happy - delighted to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world. I am humbled and happy to be here.
What have the past 24 hours been like?
They've been quite relaxing, actually, because I knew I'd be coming at some stage, so it was just a matter of when I'd be here. Now everything is sorted out, I am here and ready to go.
What are your impressions of the club and the facilities here at Melwood?
My first impressions have been the same as the impressions I've had throughout my life - it's just a huge club and it's a dream for anybody to play for. The history of the club and the fans are amazing - it has everything a player could wish to have behind them, so I am delighted to be here. I am humbled by everything and happy to be here.
What has the manager Brendan Rodgers said to you about where he sees your future at Liverpool?
He said he sees me here for a long time - and I also see myself here for a long time, too. I've not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on. I've signed to be here for as long as possible. It's a humongous club - for me, one of the biggest in the world - and to have the fans and world-class players we have here is amazing. I'm just happy the manager has put faith in me. He is the first manager to actually pay for me and sign me, so I can't ask for anymore from him or the club in bringing me here.
Brendan Rodgers has a clear vision for what he wants here at Liverpool Football Club - he's got a plan for the future. How much does it excite you to be part of that plan?
I'm hugely excited. I just can't wait for the games to start rolling on. I've not played for a while - I've had a couple of injuries over the last few months - but I'm just happy now to join such a great club, to be part of a revolution and to be part of something new and something special. Hopefully we'll be able to bring a bit of success for the fans.
Let's talk about you personally and your qualities. You've played out wide, you've played through the middle... in your opinion, what's your best position?
I see myself as a striker. I think I perform best there because my attributes, I believe, are best as a central striker. But I have played on the wing and have learned a lot doing so. I'd never refuse to play in that position and I've never demanded to play up front, either. For me, whatever the manager wants me to do I will do it and work as hard as I can for the club and the fans. I'll try to put a smile on the fans' faces and try to bring some success to the club - it would be amazing.
You say your attributes suit playing as an out-and-out striker - what are those attributes, in your opinion?
I'm quite quick, I like to dribble with the ball, try and set up my teammates, I'm quite direct and I like to shoot and pass - it's just really to try and help the team win. The pace can help my teammates put me through on goal, but most importantly it's just about working for the team and trying to help my teammates win the game. That's what's more important than anything else - it doesn't really matter about me as an individual. It's about the team and about winning games.
You'll now have the opportunity to play alongside Luis Suarez. How highly do you rate him and how much are you looking forward to playing with him?
To have him as a teammate is great. He's a very good player, very talented and rated as a one of the best players in attacking positions in the world right now. It's good to be part of a team with him in and I'm sure we'll be able to play well together.
Looking at his qualities, do you think you could have a successful partnership?
Of course. With Luis, Raheem and the other players that are here, it's going to be great for myself and I'm sure we'll connect well together. We all have similar attributes, so hopefully we'll be able to create a few nightmares for defenders!
You know some of the Liverpool players that are here already through your involvement with England and at the Olympics, such as Joe Allen. Have you spoken to any of them?
I have - I've spoken to Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen. I saw Joe when I came down for the medical. He's a great guy. We spoke a lot when we were at the Olympics together - we were in the same room - and got on very well. I've known Jordan for a few years now from the U21s and things like that. The senior players such as Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson, I've met them through the England set up. Joe Cole, too. I know quite a few of the players, so it's going to be easy for me to settle in.
You played against Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup final in 2006 - what are your memories of that?
It wasn't nice! I remember it like it was yesterday - playing at Anfield was crazy for me. We lost 3-0 and I can remember the chances I missed and the goals Liverpool scored. Then we played against them at home, won 2-0 and I scored the goals, but it wasn't enough and can't replace the fact we didn't win the cup. But it was great to play against Liverpool and at Anfield at such a young age.
So you've experienced Anfield as an opposition player - can you imagine what it's going to feel like when you run out onto the pitch and you've got all those fans behind you?
I can't, to be honest. I have been told by so many people that it's amazing and the feelings you'll have when you go out onto the pitch. When the fans sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone', as an opposition player it doesn't affect you - but playing for the team, it's a completely different feeling. You feel a lot of emotions and you just want to go out there and play your heart out. For me to join such a great club, have amazing fans and try to bring success to them will be a dream come true.
You're going to have the opportunity to see your teammates in action at Anfield tonight. Unfortunately, you're ineligible to play, which must be quite frustrating. How desperate are you just to get your Liverpool career going now?
I'm so desperate. It's very frustrating not being able to play because the window opened yesterday. I would have loved to have been involved and it's unfortunate I'm not able to, so I'll be watching from the stands, cheering the boys on and hopefully we can get a result.
Just finally, then, what is your message to Liverpool fans?
I just want to say I hope that you're very well and have had a good Christmas and New Year. I'd like to say I'm delighted to join the club, and I'm very happy to be here. I'm humbled by this club and I hope you're happy I'm at the club. I hope I can help bring some success to the club and bring smiles to a few people's faces. Thank you for having me here.