Pictured in the stands sharing his packet of mints with club captain Jordan Henderson during the goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur yesterday, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was a surprise exclusion from new Reds boss Jurgen Klopp’s side, sparking fears that the 26-year old could be set for another spell on the sidelines — something the German moved quickly to dispel.
“We had a bad week with injuries and the best news is that it is not serious with Daniel,” said the new manager. “He had a one-on-one situation with Jordon Ibe and afterwards had pain in the muscle stabilising the knee. We screened him to be sure and could see a little bit of swelling but it’s nothing really serious,” he continued. “I hope he will be ready on Thursday but I don’t know, we will see. When I came here we had four strikers of quality – now I have one. That is not the best situation but I like Divock Origi and young Jerome Sinclair was on the bench against Tottenham and close to coming on.”
Although Klopp would be full of praise for Origi in his post match interview, the Belgian made it perfectly clear that he’s no substitute for even a half crocked Sturridge. The youngster, who it would be harsh to go in on too hard, was often ponderous in his play and failed to bring those around him into the attack. While he’s full of potential, that won’t win matches now — something the Reds boss will need to start doing before long and something that will be made much easier when our players start returning from injury.
“I can’t think about players I don’t have, as it means you are not concentrated on the ones you are with,” explained Klopp, moving on quickly from the brief spell of frustration shown earlier. “And our club works 24 hours for the players to come back,” he continued. “Ings needs time, Benteke doesn’t need the same time and will be back next week, for Kazan or Southampton [who Liverpool host next Sunday]. The best situation is when all the players are 100 per cent… and it doesn’t happen so often.”