Jamie Carragher has revealed that Daniel Sturridge had words with him on Liverpool’s recent post-season friendly in Australia.
The former vice-captain turned Sky Sports pundit made waves in January when he targeted Sturridge in particular in the wake of Liverpool’s EFL Cup semi-final exit in January, and since then has gone on to say that the club should be looking to sell the forward in the summer.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo’s Anfield Extra season review podcast, Carragher recalled a recent conversation with Sturridge, as the former teammates were briefly reunited for Liverpool’s friendly against Sydney FC last month.
“I’ve got a funny story about that, and I didn’t mind it actually – I was happy about it.
“As soon as I got on the plane, I could see Sturridge wasn’t his normal self with me. And he pulled me in Australia after the game, or at half time when we’d come off.
“He said ‘why did you say they should sell me?’.
“I said ‘ooh, fair enough!’ I thought ‘I’m not having you putting me on the back foot’ so I went straight back and said ‘well, what else can they do?!’
“He wasn’t too happy that I’d said that, but my point was that a player of his quality, you either play or you go. If I was him, I wouldn’t want to be on the bench, and from Klopp’s point of view there is nobody else on the bench he could get money for, if he needed say £20m or £25m.”
Carragher did, however, admit that he was happy that Sturridge said that to him – that in his role as a pundit it stands to reason that his opinions can be challenged by the individuals being discussed. He also defended a perceived attitude problem in the 27-year-old was just a quiet player:
“He didn’t come across like a player who was looking to get out, I have to say that!
“I played with him. He’s always had that thing about him that he’s moody or difficult. I never saw it.
“He was quiet, but no different to a lot of other players. The big thing was getting him on the training pitch every day. It’s well-documented that he’s got to be 100 per cent and that he’s fearing his body is going to let him down.
“But as soon as you get him on the pitch, you can tell straight away. You can just tell with the way he controls the ball, the way he moves, you know you’ve signed a good player.”
Sturridge’s future at Anfield beyond this summer is unclear right now. It looked as though the England international was destined for the exit door up until recently, but a strong end to the season, coupled with the fact that Liverpool haven’t been so much as linked with a replacement, bodes well for him going forward.