Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has moved to play down the situation surrounding Daniel Sturridge after he was left on the bench at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Reds picked up a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday, with Sturridge seeing Divock Origi introduced to the game before him while he entered the fray with just two minutes remaining.
Naturally, the perceived snub drew plenty of attention from the media in the aftermath of the game, with former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness revealing his belief that the England international had “a mountain to club” to force his way back into the starting line-up on Sky Sports after the clash.
However, Klopp doesn’t see it that way and dismissed the notion that it was a personal reason as to why he left Sturridge out of the line-up, while also playing down the situation being created by others.
“Actually, why should I think about something like this?” Klopp responded, when Souness’ comments were put to him, as noted by the Liverpool Echo. “Daniel Sturridge is a wonderfully skilful player. But for the game today, I made the decision that the kind of defending what it was and for what we needed.
“There’s no big mountain for him. It’s a good team, thank God. Hopefully we can make different line-ups for different games.
“He (Sturridge) has now made three games. He did not have a perfect pre-season, that’s how it is. A few other players had more pre-season. They played together. These guys up front played together. They’ve trained for the first day of pre-season together so of course that’s an advantage.”
Sturridge came off the bench to score twice in the 5-0 win over Burton Albion in the EFL Cup last week, but it wasn’t enough to force his way into the team for the encounter with Spurs.
Whether or not his frustration continues in the coming weeks remains to be seen. His record shows that when he stays fit and plays regularly, he scores goals. However, steering clear of injuries has been his biggest problem, and until he can consistently show his quality in training and in matches, then Klopp has the right to make decisions he feels are best for his team.