Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side begin their Champions League campaign with victory at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their meeting with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain having won each of their opening five Premier League matches, thus sitting top of the division at this early stage of the season. And they transferred their fine domestic form into their first European clash of the campaign as goals from Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, and Roberto Firmino inspired the Reds to a 3-2 success over Thomas Tuchel’s side, thus maintaining Liverpool’s 100% start to the season.
Thus, there have been many buoyant Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping the praise on striker Sturridge, whose resurgence in the last few months has certainly been a sight to behold.
And while the man himself obviously deserves credit for getting his Liverpool career back on track, Klopp’s decision over the summer to retain the striker, and thus back him to improve during pre-season, is proving to be something of a masterstroke.
Ultimately, it looked for all the world that the Englishman’s time on Merseyside was up following his loan spell at West Brom in the second half of last season, with the exploits of Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah keeping him out of the side and down the forward’s pecking order.
As such, there was speculation throughout the summer that Sturridge would indeed be let go by Klopp as the 28-year-old sought to get his career going again, only for the Liverpool chief to back him during pre-season and thus give him the opportunity to prove his worth to the Reds – and he did that in abundance during the summer.
Sturridge enjoyed a fine pre-season following the news that Klopp would indeed retain the striker for the final year of his contract, and his excellent display in their 3-2 success over PSG on Tuesday night, in which the 28-year-old netted the opener, underlined just how well he has reinvigorated his career in the last few months.
And Klopp deserves so much credit for that, as does Sturridge of course, by backing the forward during the summer to produce the goods – he could have easily cashed on him, as someone would have paid a decent sum for him, but he opted against that, and has since reaped the rewards from such decision.
Sturridge netted just seconds after coming on as a substitute in their opening weekend victory over West Ham last month to get his season up and running, and trusted to lead the line on Tuesday against PSG in the absence of Firmino, the 28-year-old produced a performance in keeping with the Sturridge that the Reds signed back in 2013.
Yes, it will still be difficult for the Englishman to break into the starting eleven on a regular basis such is the quality of the front three, but the fact he is still at the club is testament to Klopp’s belief in the forward’s ability – and Sturridge has so far taken that chance.
Thus, while the 28-year-old obviously deserves credit for coming back in from the abyss, Klopp deserves all the credit in the world for his role in reinvigorating the striker’s career – a decision which is already proving to be a masterstroke.
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