Jurgen Klopp has paid Daniel Sturridge a lovely tribute, with news breaking yesterday that the forward is leaving Liverpool.
The Englishman signed from Chelsea in January 2013, the same window we acquired Coutinho from Inter Milan.
From the minute Sturridge arrived at Anfield, he hit the ground running – scoring 11 goals in the second half of the 2012/13 campaign, before almost firing us to Premier League glory the next season – notching 24 in total alongside Luis Suarez.
Sadly, injuries meant that was as good as it got for Sturridge, who has never been an automatic starter under Klopp due to the fact his fearsome speed left him and his game ultimately changed.
At his best, Sturridge was a jaw-dropping finisher with pace, skill and attitude – but his inability to get behind a defence anymore means his time at Liverpool has come to an end.
“Daniel has earned the right to be considered a modern-day Liverpool great, I would think,” Klopp told the official website. “He came to the club while we were trying to rebuild and re-establish ourselves. Some of the goals he has scored for Liverpool were so, so, so important.
“He is one of the best finishers I have ever seen in my life. He scores goals you think could and should not be possible.
“Again, like many players in my squad, Daniel has had to be patient and contribute when asked during games, but even this season he has played a vital role.
“What maybe is missed on the outside of the club by many is what a great leader Daniel is in our dressing room. He is smart, confident and not afraid to speak up when he thinks there is something that needs adapting to help the team. He has been great with many of the younger players also, so he has been so important to our progression here.
“I wish both players nothing but success and joy wherever their journey takes them next. Whoever has them next will be so lucky to have these outstanding personalities in their ranks.”
Sturridge played his part this season, of course. A goal v PSG in the Champions League Group Stages got us on our way and his legendary strike v Chelsea will live long in the memory.
We hope he finds a club in England that starts him regularly.
Perhaps a move to Aston Villa would do the 29-year-old good, considering he was born in Birmingham and they’ve just been promoted to the top flight.