- Daniel Sturridge set to leave Liverpool after falling behind in pecking order
- Striker told by manager Jurgen Klopp he sits behind club’s ‘Fab Four’
- Sturridge linked with departure in search of first-team football ahead of 2018 World Cup
- SEE MORE: ‘He wears sh** clothes’ – Coutinho ribs worst-dressing Liverpool player
Daniel Sturridge continues to edge ever closer to leaving Liverpool in search of the regular first team football he hopes will boost his chances of playing in the 2018 World Cup.
The Reds’ striker has been tipped to depart in January as he strives to secure a spot in the squad Gareth Southgate will take to Russia, having seen his opportunities limited at Anfield over the past couple of seasons.
A move abroad has spearheaded the list of likely options, although Jurgen Klopp himself has been reluctant to shed light on his decision-making process before the transfer window has opened.
The German has, however, informed Sturridge that he sits behind Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’, consisting of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, in the pecking order, reports the Mirror’s Simon Mullock.
Sturridge had been identified as a likely departure ahead of the summer window, only for Klopp to reiterate the forward’s value to his squad and the difficulty he would face trying to replace the Englishman.
Klopp told the Mirror: “Physically, Daniel is in the best shape since I came. But, obviously, there are a few players around him who are not that bad as well!”
Liverpool’s first choice attacking options are no secret at this stage of the season, and a reminder of that certainly won’t have come as a surprise to Sturridge.
Klopp himself has been quick to play down ‘Fab Four’ nickname, though, labelling it ‘disrespectful’ to the other attacking assets he deems as important members of the team, such as Sturridge.
A focus on team rotation as a means of combating the gruelling and busy Christmas schedule has provided Sturridge with more opportunities to slot in as a viable alternative option in recent weeks.
He would have also seen more game time had a minor injury not ruled him out of recent draws against Everton and West Brom, with young striker Dominic Solanke earning a surprise start in the derby.
Real Betis have emerged as avid admirers of the 28-year-old, with the La Liga club seeking a replacement for injured star forward Antonio Sanabria.
A man who has seen his gift burdened by constant injury setbacks deserves a fair shot at reigniting his career.