Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has vowed to stick by striker Daniel Sturridge as he continues to struggle with regular injury setbacks.
The 26-year-old missed the opening game of the Premier League season with a hip injury, but returned to action at the weekend in the 2-0 defeat at Burnley.
With Klopp likely to start him again in the EFL Cup clash with Burton Albion on Tuesday, it should give the England international a chance to gain match fitness and regain his confidence as he continues to endure a stuttering Liverpool career over the last three years.
However, despite the likely frustration of not having his top striker available every week, Klopp backed Sturridge and remains confident that he will continue to play an important role for the club moving forward.
“Daniel is still a very quick player but he’s had a lot of injuries in the last few years and a few muscle issues – I have no idea how this exactly changes the mind of a player,” he said, as noted by Sky Sports.
“He is still on the way back, but he is still an outstanding player, and even an outstanding player needs rhythm. Saturday was not the best game of football Daniel has ever played but, even in a game like this, he could have scored.
“I don’t compare him with the younger Daniel Sturridge. He is a really good player with all you need, when he is fit. Obviously there is a bit I can do to help him but you have to accept as a manager that it is really rare you can say 100 per cent what a player wants to hear.”
Sturridge’s best season at Anfield was in 2013/14, when he made 29 Premier League appearances and scored 21 goals.
However, since then, he managed just 12 league appearances the following season and 14 last year, with the last time he played 30 or more league games in a campaign dating back to 2011/12.
When the former Chelsea and Manchester City star plays, he invariably scores goals. In turn, Klopp will hope to have him back fit and firing this year as he can certainly make a significant difference.