The life of an injured Premier League footballer must be testing at the best of times. Liverpool were once an almost unrivalled forced to be reckoned with, sporting the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up top – yet since the former eventually signed for Barcelona and the latter subsequently experienced a series of thigh problems that would restrict his game-time dramatically – the Reds have looked far from a complete unit.
Jurgen Klopp’s first Premier League win in charge at the club, however, in a remarkable 3-1 away victory at Stamford Bridge last time out, should nonetheless gloss over some of the long-term frustration surroundings Sturridge and his inability to detach himself from the treatment room.
The Reds undoubtedly showed some promising signs against Jose Mourinho’s lack-lustre Chelsea outfit when the sides last met, but even though Philippe Coutinho certainly held his own in the attacking areas of the pitch for Liverpool, the team still look distinctly unbalanced without any recognised strikers among the starting XI.
[ffc-gal cat=”liverpool” no=”5″]
So then, although the England international was once a somewhat un-droppable talent who would consistently keep things ticking along in the goal-scoring department down at Anfield, has the time now come for Liverpool to give up on Daniel Sturridge?
At this stage in the proceedings, it remains doubtful that the 26-year-old will return to very his best form any time soon. His goal-scoring ability is unquestionable though, of course.
Whenever Sturridge does in-fact make the brief return to first team action for the Reds, he always seems to do the business in front of goal and help his side go on to record an impressive victory to boot.
The former Manchester City and Chelsea man looks like he’s never been away from the pitch when he has made that rare cameo back among the Liverpool starting XI, but he’s simply not been fit enough to prove a wholly reliable asset for his new manager, Jurgen Klopp. In-fact, had Daniel Sturridge got over some of his extensive injury problems a little sooner than expected across the last couple of seasons, Brendan Rodgers may even still have a job to call his own back in front of the Anfield faithful.
But that particular notion nonetheless remains firmly in the past now. Looking ahead, the Liverpool hierarchy seemingly find themselves with a decision to make regarding the future of Daniel Sturridge at the club. Although he certainly looks a fine player on his day, how long will his injury-ridden spell on Merseyside be forced to go on for?
Liverpool could arguably see fit to look beyond Daniel Sturridge by the time the January transfer window arrives. Klopp is yet to put his own unique spin on this current Reds outfit, so if the club eventually offer their new German manager the same access to resources Brendan Rodgers experienced during his time at Anfield, surely Liverpool will be looking a lot stronger all round with some fresh injection of quality throughout their starting XI.
Sturridge may therefore have to make way in order for such an uprooting process to be carried out at the club, even if several Liverpool supporters would sincerely stand against such a possibility.
However, life amongst top-flight European football simply doesn’t prove so cut and dry with all things considered. Even if Liverpool felt a dramatic need to remove Daniel Sturridge from the first team fold at Anfield this January, surely no sensible top-flight club would see fit to pick up the injured striker’s services – or lack of – any time soon.
The Reds would have to sacrifice their once unstoppable 26-year-old in a heavily cut-price deal for such an eventuality to even take place, and that just wouldn’t seem worth it for the club as a whole.
Put simply, Liverpool ultimately have no choice but to hold onto Daniel Sturridge throughout the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign, whilst supporting the striker’s planned route back into the starting XI at every opportunity. If he does make his return sooner rather than later, Sturridge could well prove the difference between seeing his team reside in their current lowly position, and watching Liverpool re-cement themselves back among the top four of the Premier League.
In the end, the Reds would be silly to part ways with the England international now – after everything the two parties have already been through together. However, the Anfield faithful will nonetheless have to remain patient this term, with the player’s continued absence among Klopp’s first team plans likely proving highly frustrating for a good while yet to come.