Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge, fit and on form, might just be the best striker in the Premier League. The only problem, as any Liverpool fan will tell you, is that over the past year he has barely managed to play two games on the bounce before ending up on the trainer's table for another month.
In fact, the club's star attacker has yet to play a minute for new manager Jürgen Klopp, who has now been at the club for six weeks. He's trained for a few days with Klopp, both ahead of the Tottenham match that marked the German's Liverpool debut and then again over the last week, but he's yet to see a minute of meaningful action.
That's set to change this week. Sturridge is expected to at least make a showing off the bench against Bordeaux in the Europa League on Thursday. Yet even with the limited time they've had to work together, the Liverpool striker has been hugely impressed by the new manager, making his time on the sidelines even harder than usual.
"I've been very impressed," said Sturridge, who has spent much of the past six weeks watching Klopp make his impact from afar like the fans. "He came in and over the first week—which I was training in—he put his style on us pretty much straight away. He trains you exactly how he wants you to play [and] he's very involved."
That passion, both for the game and his players, has led to instant results. A side that had seemed depressed following more than a season of middling play and average results, that at times looked without idea and at others as though they were trying to execute a million conflicting, contrary orders, has quickly found itself.
Liverpool's player's have embraced Klopp's message of hard work and belief, and though they aren't yet the finished product, it's difficult not to watch a match like Saturday's dismantling of title favourites Manchester City without buying into it right along with them. Under Klopp, this suddenly seems a side capable of anything.
"He's all-action," added the England international. "He's very intense and he wants you to perform at your best level every day in training as well. That's what everyone does on the training field—gives 100 percent every day and goes into the games with the same mentality."