Phil Thompson reluctantly tells 28-year-old to leave Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC legend Phil Thompson believes Daniel Sturridge might be forced to leave Anfield to protect his World Cup chances
Phil Thompson has reluctantly told Daniel Sturridge to leave Liverpool FC in the January transfer window.
The England international made a brilliant start to his Reds career when Brendan Rodgers signed the striker in a £12m deal from Chelsea in 2013.
Sturridge scored 21 times in 28 games in his first full season at Anfield as he forged a brilliant strike parntership with Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling.
However, the 28-year-old has endured relentless injury problems since Liverpool’s title challenge in 2013-14 and even Jurgen Klopp’s appointment hasn’t resolved his issues.
Sturridge has only managed to score 17 goals in his subsequent 57 appearances in the Premier League over the past three-and-a-half seasons at Anfield.
Klopp has used the former Manchester City striker sparingly in the current campaign as Roberto Firmino continues to start in a centre-forward role in the Liverpool team.
The injury-prone striker has scored two goals in four starts and four substitute appearances in the Premier League ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Sturridge could miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad due to a lack of playing time at his club despite being one of England’s most-natural goal-scorers.
Former Liverpool FC captain Thompson believes Sturridge needs to leave Anfield or else risk missing out on the chance to feature at the World Cup.
“If I was Jurgen Klopp I’d want him to stay but I understand Sturridge wanting to go,” Thompson told Sky Sports. He will not go to the World Cup if he continues within the current squad status.
“As a Liverpool fan, I want to see our squad remain together because it isn’t that big as it is and he does enhance it. However, on a personal side, having been a player, I’d be worried his chance is passing him by.
“This could maybe be his last World Cup, and when you look at the players who are in that squad, he can still have a major say if he can get back in there. He must be thinking he could play a part this summer.
“I think he’ll want to play more regularly and look at his options in January. He’ll look at someone like Jermain Defoe and think there is hope that he can leave and get back into the squad.”