28 Dec 2015

Forget It: Klopp slaps down 'amazing' £18m Liverpool star and confirms he 'cannot' play until 100% fit

After a succession of injury setbacks and short-lived 'recoveries', Daniel Sturridge is now the Liverpool FC version of 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf', and like many jaded Reds fans, LFC boss Jurgen Klopp is singularly unimpressed with Sturridge's latest proclamation of fitness.

On Saturday, £18m-rated Sturridge tweeted out the latest in a long line of hard-to-take-seriously claims:

"Back training and good to go!!”

Sturridge has made the same statement many times in the past, and then failed to maintain his fitness, which probably explained why Klopp doesn't appear to be interested in the striker's view.

Indeed, when asked about this latest claim, Klopp made it clear that he's taking nothing at face value. He told reporters:

“It’s the same thing Daniel said four weeks ago, and then we let him play. He has to train, we cannot change the situation.

"We have to give the body the right information, and then he can go. If we do this, then maybe we can change something or we will be talking about Sturridge for the next 10 years".

In my view, Klopp is absolutely right to to subject 'amazing' Sturridge to a 'mini pre-season' and weeks of 'intensive training':

* Sturridge should not be be allowed back on the pitch until he's proven his fitness beyond a shadow of a doubt.

* Training will never replicate the intensity of an actual Premier League game, but Klopp should (IMO) arrange training games where Sturridge is up against his team-mates (Prem players) in a competitive environment.

* A couple of U21 games couldn't hurt, either. It's not really about the quality of the opposition; it's about Sturridge's ability to avoid injury for a run of games, and if he can't stay fit in training and/or U21 games, there's no point playing him in the Premier League.

Sturridge is clearly desperate to return, but as Klopp also states, he'll have to be 'patient', and that means going about his rehabilitation with a positive, proactive attitude^, and if that means having to play for the U21s, then so be it.

^ I'm sure this is always the case.

Author: Jaimie K


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