Jurgen Klopp has admitted that injuries will have affected Daniel Sturridge’s speed, but claims that his misses against Southampton had nothing to do with pace – just confidence.
A report was published by Sky Sports yesterday which showed that the Liverpool striker’s top and average speed per game has declined every season since 2013/14 – when he was undeniably one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
In fact, his partnership with Luis Suarez that campaign was breathtaking, and people are completely wrong to assume the Uruguayan carried him. They carried each other. Check out the footage.
But this term, Sturridge looks a different player. He doesn’t make runs behind and comes to the ball, because it looks like he doesn’t trust his legs. His primary aim is to make himself a yard and get a shot off, so he has so many less chances in one-on-one situations.
But Klopp is confident the forward will improve, although the fact he puts Sturridge on the bench when everyone’s fit hints at his true feelings.
“I don’t know exactly about the level of 13/14 because I wasn’t here. But that’s not too important,” Klopp told today’s press-conference ahead of the Wolves clash tomorrow, cited in the Echo
“I thought after Southampton it was a good game for Daniel Sturridge. He was involved from 1st second until the last.”
“Usually, and it’s not about speed, Daniel scores twice. But he is a human being and he missed the chances. Of course longer injuries can have an impact. Ask a sprinter. If you get a few injuries maybe it takes time, but it’s not lost forever.
“Daniel is the best age for a football player. If he can stay fit everything will be fine.”
The situation with Sturridge makes us feel sad, more than anything. Remembering that striker in 2013/14.. What a footballer! Those days, it seems, are over. Whether he can carve a successful career as a different kind of forward is yet to be seen.