Jurgen Klopp’s one word answer regarding Daniel Sturridge’s fitness after the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace provides the perfect summary of his Liverpool career. Injury stricken, the England international has been side-lined for a staggering 640 days since the 2011/12 season – the 9th worst record in the Premier League. It means he’s missed over 50% of Liverpool’s games since joining 3 and a half years ago.
Making the move over to Merseyside in January 2013, Sturridge represented somewhat of a risk for Brendan Rodgers. He had failed to really catch the eye at both Manchester City and Chelsea, but there was a feeling he simply needed a run of games and a manager to show some faith in him. That’s exactly what Rodgers did and it paid dividends right from the word go, with 11 goals in his first half-season at the club.
Twenty-four goals in the 2013/14 season for Sturridge left Liverpool fans purring – a record only bettered by his striker partner Luis Suarez in the Premier League’s top scorers. Telepathic in their build up play, the duo gained plaudit after plaudit, steering Liverpool agonisingly close to the title.
A delicious lob against Everton in the Merseyside derby; a clinical fourth in the thrashing of Arsenal and a mazey run finished off by rounding the Villa goalkeeper – Sturridge oozed class.
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