Daniel Sturridge has been the subject of much discussion of late. Whether it's a former player barging in on the striker's injury troubles or a manager denying interest in the player, the star striker remains as prominent as ever despite being out of action for the overwhelming majority of the season.
The whole situation with Liverpool's strikers and goalscoring is deeply frustrating, and defeat to Manchester United underlined how much Liverpool are suffering without a goal threat. Strikers that aren't injury prone have succumbed to the charms of physical misfortune this season, a talented marquee signing has proved to be as awkward a fit as many thought he would be, and Sturridge is in some sort of limbo where games against Aston Villa and Southampton represent the sum total of the 26-year-old's season so far.
Jürgen Klopp has a habit of backing players even when it may not seem popular to do so and appears to be someone whose thoughts aren't swayed so easily on a matter. His experience at Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund, where he spent seven years at each club, have brought lessons on the importance of time: when to act and when to wait. Even with the potential addition of Alex Teixeira, Sturridge will still be needed.
After being asked about making a decision on Liverpool's best striker, Klopp made his position clear: "Make a decision about what? I have two-and-a-half years left on my contract and I've been here three or four months. That's not a problem. I had 15 months with Ilkay Gundogan where we had to all wait but it was his back and we had no chance to force it. It's not a back problem with Daniel but it's the muscle.
"Out of responsibility, we have to do everything we can to give him the physical strength to be able to play Premier League football. We all know it's pretty easy for him when he's fit, but at this moment he isn't. We cannot change this and I am not thinking about making a general decision (about him) at the moment. To have a player like Daniel in your squad is always a good situation, and when it's not possible to use him, it's not a good situation.
"He's not with the team at the moment, that's right. But we have enough games this season when we hopefully can use him but not, if nothing happens, for at least the next 10 days. You can't be nearly fit, then playing, then injured again, then nearly fit, then playing, then injured again, then during training something like injured again, and then you say after five days 'come on' to pick the day you get him and then he gets the next injury. We have to patient. That's not my best skill to be honest. But in this case I have no other choice."
Perhaps Klopp's stance will change in the summer, but for now, what else is he to do? This is a striker who guarantees goals when he plays with a style that complements other attacking players at the club. The attitude and ability of the player cannot be questioned, but the fitness is an entirely different proposition. Klopp and his team will do their best to find solutions, and while it's heartening to see Sturridge being backed by his manager, only a regular run of games will quell the doubts surrounding one of the Premier League's sharpest strikers.