Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has offered an honest opinion on Daniel Sturridge, and simply doesn’t believe he can reach previous levels.
The 28-year-old started for the Reds against Newcastle United on Sunday, but wasn’t able to help them avoid another draw while he missed a golden opportunity in the second half to make it 2-1.
Speaking after the game and analysing the England international’s performance, Carragher gave his frank assessment of the situation that Sturridge now faces and doesn’t believe that Jurgen Klopp really trusts him anymore to play him regularly.
“He [Klopp] doesn’t fancy him, he hasn’t done for two years, that’s why he doesn’t play,” he told Sky Sports.
“People keep thinking that player who played with [Luis] Suarez when they nearly won the league is still there. I don’t think he is there anymore.”
Fellow pundit Graeme Souness was equally as damning in his assessment of Sturridge, as he echoed the points made by Carragher while adding that he simply doesn’t think that he can train properly to get himself sharp and fully match fit anymore.
“He was laboured, a yard off the pace, I don’t think he can train properly, and that’s why he gets injury after injury. I was watching him last year, and his warm up was like 30 per cent. Then he is expected to sprint when the game starts.
“It might be another month, six weeks before Klopp plays him again. If everything is right, he would be one of the first names on the teamsheet. But looking at him today, he is miles off it.”
It remains to be seen when the forward gets another opportunity in the starting line-up, but on the basis of Sunday afternoon, Roberto Firmino will surely return after the international break and Sturridge will have a real battle on his hands to secure himself playing time at Anfield between now and the end of the season.