Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was criticised over his work ethic by Graeme Souness over the weekend, and it’s claimed Jurgen Klopp has the same issues.
As noted in his Times column, Souness argued that while Sturridge’s quality was showcased with his goal in the win over Scotland in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Friday night, he still doesn’t have the work ethic to ever fulfil his potential.
The paper has doubled down on that assertion by suggesting in Monday’s edition that Klopp also shares those same concerns, hence why the England international has started just one of their last six Premier League matches.
“Sturridge’s problem is that some of those doubts are shared by Klopp, his club manager, who talks enthusiastically about the forward’s scoring prowess but has chosen him in the starting XI for one of Liverpool’s past six Premier League matches, largely for the reasons that Souness cites,” Oliver Kay writes in the article.
It’s added that no one doubts the former Chelsea and Manchester City star’s finishing ability, but his work in build-up play and overall effort off the ball needs to improve.
Sturridge defended himself from criticism, as noted in the same report, insisting that it was “unfair” as he believes he contributes a great deal to any team that he plays for through assists and goals and he remains unaffected by criticism.
In his defence, unless Klopp actually comes out and states that these are his beliefs too, then it merely remains a report for the time being.
However, the numbers don’t lie and with Roberto Firmino continuing to lead the line for the Reds this season, there is evidently a reasoning behind why Sturridge doesn’t get the nod on a more regular basis.
The England international will expect to get more opportunities as Liverpool continue to compete for silverware this season, but those were strong words from Souness and if that is indeed the reason behind Klopp preferring other options, then Sturridge would be well advised to address it rather than insist that there is no issue with his overall game.