Daniel Sturridge was chosen to start in Liverpool’s crunch clash with Manchester United on Monday night, but does the forward have a future at Liverpool?

The forward is undoubtedly supremely talented, but his performances alongside Luis Suarez during the 2013/14 season seem like a distant memory now.

Sturridge reportedly has a difficult relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, with Klopp at one point criticising Sturridge’s pain threshold. However, the manager leapt to his striker’s defence over the weekend, citing the game as difficult for any forward, according to The Mirror.

However, it is not just this match that should be a source of concern to Liverpool fans. In 7 appearances in the league this season, Sturridge has yet to open his account for the season. The striker has also created a mere 3 chances this season, a far cry from the partnership he shared with Suarez 3 seasons ago.

This kind of form is normal for a player who is ravaged by injuries, but Sturridge has always seemed to be able to shake off rustiness with his pure talent. There is no question that his repeated injuries have seen his stock fall in Klopp’s eyes, however, with both Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino being preferred to Sturridge on several occasions this season, both domestically and in Europe.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - MAY 18: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy Lars Baron/Getty Images)

BASEL, SWITZERLAND – MAY 18: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo courtesy Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When on form, the forward is a brilliant player. Both explosive and graceful in equal measure. Sturridge is a wonderfully talented footballer, and is capable of scoring goals of all sorts. However, his attitude has justifiably been questioned on many an occasion.

The 27 year old also has a petulant side to him, and you just have to look at the list of clubs he has left because of a lack of playing time to see just how impatient he can be when things don’t go his way.

It is not just Sturridge’s attacking play that should be a concern. Jurgen Klopp is a manager that demands an astonishing defensive work-rate from all his players. Klopp’s famous Gegenpressing tactic puts particular importance in the role of his attacking players when it comes to closing down opponents, and this is exactly where Sturridge has been desperately disappointing thus far.

An average of 0 defensive contributions says it all. In 351 minutes, the forward has made 1 interception, 0 blocks, 0 clearances and has won 0 tackles. This is simply not good enough in Klopp’s system.

If the England international does indeed want to stay and fight for his place under Klopp, a vast improvement is needed in his work-rate and commitment to the cause. The notion that Sturridge just will not fit in Klopp’s system simply won’t go away, and right now the forward is doing nothing to dispel these thoughts.

It is always unfortunate when a talented player is held back by injuries, but at some point every club is ruthless with these kinds of players. Sturridge has only managed more than 20 appearances in the league once with Liverpool, during the 2013/14 season where he was named in the PFA team of the year.

Klopp will be understandably reluctant to rely on such an injury prone forward as his main option up front, and this could lead to a hunt for a new striker come the summer.

At 27 years of age, the forward is also hitting his peak years. If he continues to play a bit-part role in Liverpool’s season, he will definitely have to consider his options at the end of the season.

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