Daniel Sturridge has appeared in fewer than 30% of Liverpool’s games since the start of the 2014-15 season. He has played fewer than 20% of the club’s minutes over that period. The whole time, the club have existed in what seems a perpetual state of expectation, always waiting for Sturridge to return.
Waiting for one of the league’s best strikers to work his way back to fitness, play a half or three, and then hobble back to the trainer’s table with another injury. It has been frustrating. It has even been damaging, stringing the club and fans along in a constant state of expectation and hope and preventing them making plans to move on.
"Judging by the way Jürgen Klopp answered his questions, I don’t think there is much wrong with him," ex-Red midfielder and Sky Germany pundit Dietmar Hamann told TalkSport. The former Liverpool player, like many others watching on, has grown increasingly tired of perpetually waiting on Sturridge to return to action.
Unlike others, he has shared a training pitch with the player when both were on the books at Manchester City. And according to Hamann, the truth is that Sturridge has always been a player who is coming down with one knock or another, seemingly unable or unwilling to push himself through even the slightest discomfort.
"There was always something wrong with him on the Thursday or the Friday," said Hamann. "His back, his hamstring, there was always something. It is more important to be honest and truthful to the paying public than to protect a player who has hardly played the last 18 months and seems to choose when he wants to play.
"If you look at his record since he has played professional football, he probably doesn’t average half the games a season—and it’s gotten worse at Liverpool. I’m not saying he is pretending to be injured, [but] nobody knows what is going on with him."