Speaking to the press at Melwood yesterday ahead of Liverpool’s clash with West Ham United, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp made somewhat of an off-the-cuff remark about the fitness of striker Daniel Sturridge, confirming the striker is “unhappy”. Now, taken in context, it sounds like the German manager was saying that the calf injury that he’s been struggling with has him feeling blue, but with rumours persisting that the 27-year old will push for a move in January, there may be quite a bit more to that comment than it seems.
“He will go out today on the pitch but that means starting the football work not with the team but only the rehab coach. I have no idea when he is back,” explained Klopp, going on to say that there wasn’t anything he could do about it. “Nothing. Wait. That’s my job. [He is] not happy,” continued Liverpool’s manager. “I learned pretty early I [shouldn’t] make pressure by making timelines so why should I do it?” added Klopp, seemingly bemused. “If he is not training with the team at the moment then we don’t have to think about him for West Ham, or think about him for Middlesbrough. Maybe [after] then but I have no idea! It would be nice [to have him back for Everton] but I really have no idea.”
With the rumour mill in full force ahead of the market re-opening in January, the Reds boss has already moved to dampen talk of any first team players leaving — specifically calling out Sturridge as a prime example of a player that’s not for sale. Of course, that’s then and this is very much now; it’s no secret that the England man isn’t happy with his lack of first team football. Finding himself low on the pecking order, he’s struggled to nail down a spot and with a number of clubs sniffing around, it’d be little surprise if his head was eventually turned. Flattery, they say, will get you nowhere, but that hasn’t stopped Hammers boss Slaven Bilic with the Croatian one of the many managers interested in securing Sturridge’s services.
“He’s a good player. One of the biggest talents,” mused the Hammers manager. “The only thing that stopped him being a regular in the club or the national team, to fulfil his potential, are the injuries, or were the injuries,” explained Bilic. “The talent is there. His touch, his finishing is great. Everything is great,” enthused the former Croatia boss. “The most important thing is to get consistency.”