Jurgen Klopp has become a very popular figure at Anfield in his 10 months as Liverpool manager. However, one of his star players in Daniel Sturridge is now unhappy with the German for playing him out of position.
Sturridge came off the bench to score a brace against Burton Albion in the League Cup, after struggling in the Reds’ last Premier League game against Burnley. The English striker played wide on the right in the 2-0 defeat against the Clarets.
After his goalscoring contribution in the 5-0 victory over Burton, Sturridge took the opportunity to make a case for a more central role, stating that he wasn’t happy playing outside of his best position.
“Of course it is more difficult for me to play wide. I’m a centre-forward,” said Sturridge, according to the Guardian. “In the modern day game you have to try and be flexible but everyone knows my best position.
“Well, I have to do a job for the team. That’s not saying I am happy to do it. That’s saying I have got to do a job for the team. It’s a team game. If I am put in that position, I have to play there.”
Daniel Sturridge has endured two injury-plagued seasons with Liverpool after playing a crucial role in their title challenge in 2013-14. The 26-year-old striker has missed more games than he has played in this period, and there was even speculation that new manager Jurgen Klopp was preparing to offload the struggling Englishman this summer.
It is now likely that Sturridge will stay at Anfield, but his previous central striker role is no longer a guarantee. Klopp has shown great faith in the rapidly developing Belgian striker Divock Origi, who is Sturridge’s main competition for the No. 9 role. The 21-year-old scored 10 goals in all competitions last season and opened his tally for this campaign with the opening goal against Burton Albion.
Apart from the Belgian, Klopp has also used Brazilian Roberto Firmino in a ‘False 9’ role, which produced some of Liverpool’s most emphatic victories last season. They also have 24-year-old English striker Danny Ings in the squad. The former Burnley forward scored 11 goals in his last full season in the Premier League.