Englishman has netted 20 top-flight goals for the Reds this season.
Prolific Liverpool front man Daniel Sturridge says that he would still be warming the substitutes’ bench had he stayed at former club Manchester City, according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
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The England international began his career at Eastlands back in 2006, however, after just 21 games in all competitions in his three years in the north west, the striker opted to quit the club and move to Chelsea.
“I would not have got to where I am today if I had stayed,” says Sturridge ahead of the Reds’ Premier League title showdown against his old team at Anfield on Sunday.
“It was difficult for me at Manchester City as a young player aged 18 or 19, with all the money they have.
“Realistically, you look back and they only have Micah Richards from the academy playing for the club’s first team – everyone else has been signed by Man City, so I feel I made the right decision leaving there.”
However, the 24-year-old did not fare much better at Stamford Bridge though.
“At first, it was a matter of learning from the likes of Didier, and I thought I would get my opportunity sooner, but they didn’t believe in me as a centre-forward,” he said.
“They always said, ‘You’re not a centre-forward, you’re a winger’ – that’s how they saw me, but that hurt me because I’ve played down the middle all my life.
“The pitch has always been where I’ve been able to express myself the most, where I feel happiest, and I was deprived of that opportunity at Chelsea. There were times when I was sat at home, very upset, and I fell out of love with the game.
“In every job, you want to be able to do what you love, and it’s the hardest thing to accept when someone takes it away from you.
“I was scared, I wasn’t sure about the future and I’m thankful to God that I had my family behind me. In the end, I was so happy that I was able to go on loan to Bolton and prove to myself, ‘I can still do this.’
“It’s difficult when you are not playing for so long. Young players do get wrapped up when they are at a big club and they are not playing, so it’s been a whirlwind 15 months since I joined Liverpool.
“First and foremost, I feel blessed that I’m at a club where I can push myself to the limit, always listening to my team-mates and especially the manager. This is a time in my life I’ll always remember because of everything that’s gone on in the past.”