The Liverpool manager remains convinced that the England international has an important role to play at Anfield if he can avoid the treatment table
Jurgen Klopp says Daniel Sturridge can overcome his current troubles to rediscover his best form, providing he stays fit.
Sturridge, who has been plagued by injuries in the past, has endured a difficult season so far, starting just five Premier League matches.
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The England striker was given a chance to shine on Wednesday in the EFL Cup – a competition in which he has scored four goals – but he failed to prevent Liverpool crashing out to Southampton in a 2-0 aggregate semi-final defeat.
That performance prompted former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher to claim the Reds are “basically down to 10 men” when Sturridge plays and fails to score.
Liverpool fans are longing to see the re-emergence of the Sturridge of old, when the 27-year-old combined so lethally with the since departed Luis Suarez.
“I don’t know exactly about the level of 2013-14 because I wasn’t here, but that’s not too important,” Klopp said.
“I thought after Southampton it was a good game for Daniel. He was involved from the first second until the last.
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“Usually, and it’s not about speed, Daniel scores twice. But he is a human being and he missed the chances.
“Of course longer injuries can have an impact. Ask a sprinter. If you get a few injuries maybe it takes time, but it’s not lost forever.
“Daniel is the best age for a football player. If he can stay fit everything will be fine.”
One player who will have to prove his worth away from Anfield is Lazar Markovic, who has been sent to Hull City on loan.
But Klopp, who says he is unlikely to make any additions to his squad before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, insists the Serbia international has a future on Merseyside.
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“He still has a contract. Why should I say no chance? He’s still a young boy. He has struggled with injuries,” added Klopp.
“If he plays against the other teams very well then he has a chance.”