Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said Daniel Sturridge has “absolutely outstanding” ability but that he has to overcome his continued fitness troubles.
Sturridge, who joined Liverpool from Chelsea in 2013, has suffered significant problems with injuries throughout his time at Anfield and has started only five Premier League games this season.
The 27-year-old came on in the 63rd minute of Sunday’s 0-0 FA Cup draw against Plymouth after recovering from an ankle knock and could play a role in Wednesday night’s EFL Cup semifinal first leg against Southampton, but Klopp stressed that the England international has to remain fit if he is to deliver on his potential at the club.
“Listen, we have spoken a lot of times about this,” Klopp said. “If Daniel is fit, are there any arguments here ever about his quality? No. If he stays on this fitness level, and improving as he always should, that is perfect. It would be cool if we could speak like this for the next few weeks and months.
“His talent and skill there is absolutely no doubt about. Cleverness … Everything you need on the pitch is absolutely outstanding. But he has not been often enough fit. That is how it is.”
The England international has been linked with a move away from Liverpool but said last month he was maintaining a “positive” mindset despite his lack of starts under Klopp.