By Christopher Haroun
The old Daniel Sturridge is back, pass it on. Sorry, it’s just that Sturridge has a habit of luring you in, such a tease. But how will Jurgen Klopp integrate the ferocious forward back into the Liverpool team?
Sturridge appears to be a regenerated man, after returning from his brief loan spell from West Bromwich Albion. Unfortunately for The Baggies, he failed to make an impact due to his hamstring injury against Chelsea.
However, it appears that Sturridge is back with a vengeance after scoring in pre-season against Chester, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United, Napoli and Torino, while even captaining the team for the second half at Ewood Park.
Alright so let’s take our 2013/14 hat off for a couple of seconds. It’s one thing going on a scoring frenzy against lower league teams in ‘meaningless’ matches, but it’s another thing doing it against Europe’s elite on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, Sturridge is not the player he was. The 28-year-old isn’t as mobile as he once was and presses even less.
With a lengthy list of past groin, ankle, thigh, hamstring, hip, knee and calf injuries, the main concern is maintaining his fitness and avoiding injuries. So far this summer, Sturridge has been injury free, with the striker known to undertake a highly-disciplined eating regime to prevent the strains, pulls and tears that have often blighted his time at Anfield. Klopp has mentioned that he is open to putting Sturridge on an individual training programme to keep him fully fit this season.
Sturridge has already featured and scored in the opening Premier League game, at home to West Ham last Saturday. Right now, Sturridge looks fit and ready for action. He is capable of scoring a minimum of 10-15 goals a season, even while playing second fiddle.
With 12 months left on his contract, it seemed Sturridge’s Anfield career was over, but he has looked sharp in his five friendly games and Klopp has given him a lifeline. With no further attacking signings made before the transfer window closed, there is an opportunity for one last hurrah, oh and a wiggly worm dance!