2014 must seem like such a long time ago now for Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.
The England international scored 21 goals as Brendan Rodgers’ side came within two points of winning their first league title since 1990.
Since then, however, a slew of injuries have curtailed his progress and Liverpool have suffered as a result of their reliance on their absent star forward.
The change in manager at Anfield recently has arguably hindered Sturridge even more – Jürgen Klopp is not nearly as reliant on the 26 year old as Rodgers was, and Sturridge has found himself behind Divock Origi in the pecking order in Liverpool’s Europa League run.
More worryingly for the striker, even with Origi unavailable he was left out of the side’s semi final against Villarreal on Thursday – a match they went on to lose 1-0 – as Klopp elected to pick Roberto Firmino to lead Liverpool’s attack.
It is a situation that is not ideal for him, and in an interview with the Mirror, Sturridge has admitted that he gets frustrated when he is not on the pitch, and that he could never commit himself to Liverpool (or any club) for the rest of his career.
“There are things I want to achieve with Liverpool. I would never say I am Liverpool until I die, because I would be lying.
“I think any player who says, ‘Oh yeah, this is the only team I will play for, for the rest of my life’, they are deluded. In football, every team looks for replacements every single year.
“So for myself all I can do every weekend is go out there, perform as well as I can, perform to the best of my abilities, and then come the end of the season hopefully have the European Championship to look forward to… and to next year.”
Despite being very ambiguous about his long-term Liverpool future, Sturridge insisted that he was happy to be part of the new manager’s regime, but did reveal that ideally he would not have to be watching from the bench at any stage:
“It’s exciting, of course, what the manager is bringing and where we are heading. I am doing everything in my power to be out there on the pitch, and I am feeling good as well.
“You want to be on the pitch every single match, every single minute.”
Liverpool take on Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday as they look to tie up Europa League football for next year at the very least. It remains to be seen, however, if he starts in the Europa League semi-final second leg at Anfield on Thursday.