Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hinted that Daniel Sturridge will feature against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The England striker wasn’t included in the travelling group for the midweek League Cup defeat to the Foxes, raising question marks over when Klopp intended on using him this season if not in cup games.
However, the Liverpool boss has hit back and delivered an explanation for his decision, one that involves allowing Sturridge to train fully during the week to build his fitness and injury resistance with a view of potentially featuring this weekend.
“He is important to us and I could have taken him to Leicester in midweek but I can only select 11 players and Daniel would not have started. So we took a responsible decision,” he said, as reported by The Guardian.
“Rather than take him for 10 or maybe 20 minutes from the bench, we thought it was better to leave him behind so he could train twice and get better physically. We had Dom Solanke and Danny Ings for the bench and the more Daniel trains the better he gets, so that was the only reason for it.”
Klopp also added that he had a conversation with the 28-year-old over the summer, not so much about convincing him to stay, but to discuss the role he would play at Anfield this season.
Liverpool are competing on various fronts this year and will need strength in depth and quality across the squad, and so with that in mind, Sturridge will undoubtedly get his opportunities.
However, it will be about staying fit and proving his quality when given a chance, and the next one could come as early as Saturday evening with Liverpool looking to end a four-game winless streak in all competitions.