Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Daniel Sturridge to get back to his best form – despite his drop in pace.
The England international striker has come in for criticism thanks to a season that has so far seen him struggle for games and goals.
But Klopp does not think the twenty-seven year old is finished and feels “everything will be fine” if Sturridge “can stay fit”.
“I thought after Southampton it was a good game for Daniel Sturridge.” he said.
“Usually, and it’s not about speed, Daniel scores twice. But he is a human being and he missed the chances.
“Of course, longer injuries can have an impact. Ask a sprinter.
“If you get a few injuries, maybe it takes time, but it’s not lost forever.
“Daniel is the best age for a football player. If he can stay fit, everything will be fine.” he added.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has pointed out the lack of pace in Sturridge’s game now and feels that he “is a completely different player” to the one that arrived at Anfield four years ago.
“Sturridge is a completely different player now to when he first came to Liverpool.” he told Sky Sports.
“The whole point of Liverpool buying Sturridge under Brendan Rodgers when I was at the club was that he gave us penetration in behind, he had pace.
“But there was one occasion in the game tonight where he fell over into the hoardings in front of The Kop and I thought he had to get that ball.
“I don’t know if his pace has completely gone or whether he’s that worried with injuries that he pulls out of something.
“When you look at his Liverpool record – his finishing and goal-to-game ratio – it’s fantastic.
“But I’m talking about his pace and overall game because when he doesn’t score it’s like playing with ten men.” he finished.
Sturridge has dropped from a top speed of 32.4kmph to 28.5kmph this season and it has been noticed by many fans.