‘I’ve said it 500 times’ – Klopp reiterates stance on Daniel Sturridge’s Liverpool future

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On the same day Jurgen Klopp dubbed his team Rocky Balboa, the Liverpool boss also fittingly referred to an individual comeback trail reminiscent to that of the iconic boxing film.

The German made note of reinforcing his faith in a healthy Daniel Sturridge on the back of his teasing resurgence during pre-season.

Sturridge had been tipped as an early contender to depart this summer having endured an injury-stricken loan spell with West Brom over the second half of last season.

A eye-opening summer later and Sturridge finds himself as something of an enigmatic and menacing weapon for Klopp to make use of across the new campaign.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s opener against West Ham, Klopp acknowledged the mutual belief in a Sturridge free from injury.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I can’t remember a bad game from him in the pre-season, to be honest. That’s absolutely good.”

“I said it probably 500 times already: if Daniel is fit, nobody doubts Daniel. So, I do not. He is here in a good shape and hopefully he can bring that into the season as well.”

Daniel Sturridge – image by Liverpoolfc.com

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Six goals in pre-season were glossed by a consistent sharpness to Sturridge as he dropped clues of a modified role in Klopp’s system.

Besides vacating the final defender and offering himself across the frontline, the Englishman also demonstrated his talent as a deeper-lying creator.

A prime example arrived in the win over Napoli when he hit an expertly-weighted cross-field ball into the path of Alberto Moreno, who provided the empathic finish to match.

His glancing header against Torino a week later proved a timely reminder of the intelligent movement and scoring prowess he can still supply.

With Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke struggling to impress in pre-season and Danny Ings departing, Sturridge enters the season as the undisputed orthodox backup to Roberto Firmino.

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