Daniel Sturridge was given a rare start by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in the FA Cup defeat to Wolves on Monday, but he roundly failed to take the golden opportunity presented to him.
Sturridge has struggled for game time at Anfield this season, given that he sits behind Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the attacking pecking order.
He caught the eye earlier this season after scoring a brilliant long-range goal against Chelsea, but has played 90 minutes in the Premier League just twice in 2018/19.
With the January transfer window open, Sturridge had a chance against Wolves to do one of two things; either impress Klopp and potentially earn a starting spot, or put himself in the shop window for clubs who feel they need to recruit a striker.
Unfortunately for the former England international, he ended up doing neither.
Sturridge made very little impact on the game, with his strike partner, Divock Origi, instead taking the plaudits for his equaliser in his side’s 2-1 defeat.
The 29-year-old Sturridge does not seem particularly fond of Klopp’s high press strategy, and was left looking a little lost.
Indeed, he failed to register a single shot on goal, or a key pass, in the game, while he also touched the ball just 25 times – the fewest of any player to start the game bar Dejan Lovren, who was injured within the first five minutes.
Sturridge also failed to complete a dribble, and lost the ball twice.
It is no surprise, then, that he was taken off and replaced by Firmino with Liverpool chasing the game.
It was a performance that reminded us how poor a fit Sturridge is for Klopp’s ‘heavy metal’ brand of football, and makes reports of a new contract for the veteran forward seem almost laughable. While Sturridge may well have a role to play this season, he surely can’t be part of the German gaffer’s long-term plans.
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