After suffering with multiple long-term injuries over the past 18 months, it finally looks like Daniel Sturridge is fit and ready to roll.
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Sturridge, 26, has had to battle with thigh, hamstring and knee injuries ever since his breakout campaign during the 2013-14 season which saw Liverpool come within a whisker of winning the Premier League title.
He has only played in three Premier League games since new boss Jurgen Klopp arrived in October 2015 and that led to plenty of gossip claiming that Sturridge had been fit but was unwilling to play for Liverpool as something had gone on behind-the-scenes.
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Social media posts from Sturridge claiming he was fit despite being left out of squads by Klopp added further fuel to the fire but ahead of the second leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash against Augsburg at Anfield on Thursday, the former Manchester City and Chelsea forward is having none of it.
“It’s important to worry about the present. It’s been a difficult time but now I’m looking forward to the future with Liverpool,” Sturridge said. “I’m happy here. To say a player doesn’t want to play is the biggest disrespect you can make to a footballer. I don’t think anyone understands how much it means to me to play football.”
Klopp had a little more to say on the matter and somewhat revealingly claimed “a few things are more clear now” surrounding Sturridge’s situation.
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Sturridge, on his day and when fit, is one of the best strikers in the Premier League. No question. His impressive goals-per-game ratio at Liverpool in the Premier League (117.6 minutes per goal) says it all as he’s netted 37 times in 60 PL appearances since joining from Chelsea in January 2013.
The latter part of that sentence is perhaps more telling. Just 60 total PL appearances in over three years. That must improve if Liverpool can climb up the PL and achieve Klopp’s dream of bringing the title back to Anfield.
The good news is that Sturridge wants to stick around and, once and for all, put these rumors of an Anfield exit to bed.