He may have scored against Villarreal, and he may just be the third best forward in the England squad, but Daniel Sturridge’s time at Liverpool is possibly now coming to an end.
When Sturridge scored Liverpool’s second goal last Thursday evening, the fans roared, cheered and worshipped their number 15 for those seconds after the goal, but the fans would do that for anyone in red that scored.
So maybe Sturridge isn’t that special at Anfield?
The England forward has been unlucky with a number of injuries that have kept him out of the team for long periods, but he does appear to be the type of player that if he feels something isn’t quite right physically, no matter how small, he will take himself off to the treatment room, rather than play through the pain. That appears to be how the club have portrayed the matter and the player isn’t happy.
Jurgen Klopp has concerns over the player’s attitude to pain and the German coach said that Sturridge needed to learn the difference between “what is serious pain or what is only pain”. The injuries have been a constant worry for the club and their medical department who have done everything they can to get the player fit, including trips to Boston for specialist treatment.
In the summer, Sturridge will have just three years left on his contract and the club will have to decide whether they want to give him a new deal or sell a player who will lose value dramatically if he is allowed to run down his deal.
At £120,000 a week, it’s a decision to be made this summer.
Despite all of this, he has still scored 11 goals in 22 appearances, however, his talent is indisputable and should he pack his bags this summer, there will be a number of suitors ready and waiting to take him on, despite his injury record.
In the past when the subject of whether Sturridge might leave arose, Jurgen Klopp dismissed the rumours saying the speculation surrounding Daniel Sturridge was “not a story” and “not interesting.”
However, as the business end of the season fast approaches and a European cup final for Liverpool looms on the horizon, the question of who stays and who goes under Klopp’s regime will never be far away and Sturridge’s name will be dragged up once more.
For the 26-year-old England international, most of the season has been spent sat on the bench and it’s something that the player is uncomfortable with. Sturridge has one eye on a place at the EURO 2016 in France and if he’s not playing, his chances of selection become hopelessly slim.
There is a shadow over his career at the club, with a number of former Liverpool players questioning whether Sturridge has the mentality to play at the very highest level. It is something his manager has addressed, wondering aloud about Sturridge’s desire after one setback after another.
He is aware that he has a world-class talent on the books, but it is no use keeping him at Anfield if he cannot break the cycle of these endless injury problems.
Sturridge is world-class on his day. Only a couple of seasons ago Liverpool came within a whisker of winning the Premier League when his partnership with Luis Suarez was regarded as one of the most lethal in the game. Suarez scored 31 times and Sturridge 21 as Liverpool came mighty close to seeing off the threat of Manchester City.
But things change, and Sturridge’s injury prone career has threatened a promising spell with the Reds.
At this stage, it’s probably better to sever the ties and re-build the career and reputation elsewhere, where even his fortunes on the injury front may increase as well.