Having just waited two weeks for a chance to start, former Liverpool star Graeme Souness thinks that Daniel Sturridge could be stuck to the bench for some time following an often disappointing outing for the Liverpool frontman against Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.
While Sturridge’s game might not have stood out as terrible if he had previously been in form, it was telling that the team’s most successful moves came through those around him—from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané—while Sturridge at times seemed off the pace when he did get the ball.
“He didn’t take it,” Souness said on Sky Sports, describing what he saw as an inability by Sturridge to take the chance handed to him, a start in a game where Liverpool often looked dominant in attack but again failed to turn their dominance into enough goals to win the outing.
“There was no cuteness in his game that you normally associate with him,” he continued. “I thought he looked laboured, he looked off the pace. I don’t think he can train and prepare properly. That’s maybe the single biggest reason he keeps getting injury after injury.”
Sturridge’s last start was against Burnley on September 16th, and before that he started in the league against Crystal Palace on August 19th. All told, Sturridge has no goals to show those two starts to now go along with the blank fired against Newcastle on Sunday.
His only goal came off the bench against Arsenal in a match Liverpool had built a comfortable advantage in and with the Gunners looked demoralised and out of the game. Given his place on the depth chart, if he wants minutes, that’s not a record that’s going to win him many.
“He looked like a player that hadn’t trained properly and prepared for his opportunity,” Souness concluded. “It might be a month or another six weeks before Jurgen Klopp goes with him again. I thought he was so disappointing.”