Daniel Sturridge has been left stung by critics who have accused him of not being a team player.
The 27-year-old striker has had a difficult season at club level having started just four Premier League games under Jurgen Klopp due to the German’s preference of an attacking three of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane.
At international level it has been a different story given that Sturridge has started all three matches under Gareth Southgate, who was appointed in temporary charge of England following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal in September.
The forward scored against Malta and Scotland, but he is yet to open his league account for the Reds, and while Sturridge’s quality is not being questioned, his work-rate is.
The man himself, though, believes that he is the type of player that should be positioned high up the pitch, on alert, which does not fit in with Klopp’s system as his attacking stars are given free rein to roam.
In response to suggestions that he is not a team player, Sturridge told reporters: “I don’t worry about that. It’s an unfair opinion. I feel that I contribute to the team with assists and goals. It doesn’t really matter what people say to me.
“It’s about positional awareness at the end of the day. My job is to score and my job is to create for the team and coming into the midfield positions is maybe too deep.
“I feel that if I’m coming short and I’m trying to get involved in the game, then there’s no one up front in the forward positions. It’s important to have a focal point of the team.”
Sturridge has not yet opened his account in the league for Liverpool this season, but he has scored four times – all being in the EFL Cup.