At 27 years of age, Daniel Sturridge is at the peak of his powers and one might think that he is an automatic pick for the starting line-up at Liverpool. It has certainly not been the case ever since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp. The German has been at loggerheads with Sturridge in almost 12 months at Liverpool. The discontent within the England international has started becoming visible, as the striker showed signs of disbelief and frustration when he saw Divock Origi coming on as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham while he was still left on the bench.
Should Klopp rely on Sturridge more in order to get positive results? The striker has certainly not helped himself by being unavailable for much of the last 12 months. He has missed an astonishing 58 games due to various injuries since the 2014-15 season. Klopp has hinted that Sturridge forces himself on to the sidelines even for the slight niggles whereas the striker would say that he has a right to protect his body from a major injury. Several players are known to play through the pain barrier just so that the manager does not get an opportunity to have a look at other players.
Is it right to blame Sturridge alone for his continued absence from the first team? Klopp has just sold forwards like Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli and this leaves him short of options up front. But now, he has shown the desire for a formation with a false striker like Roberto Firmino. After having tasted only one win from the opening three matches, it is fair to say that the system may not be working just yet. It may take time for the players to get accustomed to the new formation, but time has become an uber-luxurious commodity in the Premier League.
Experimenting with Firmino as the number nine has not worked even though Liverpool have scored five goals in three games. Origi has only shown flashes of brilliance and is not going to deliver the consistency required to score more than 20 league goals in a season. Sturridge has been there and has done it; yes, he has a few issues with his game but they are not beyond rectification. With careful maintenance, Sturridge can go on to become a proper centre-forward for Liverpool. If he does not get enough first-team opportunities, he will find no shortage of takers.