While Liverpool’s youngsters impressed during the sides laboured 1-0 FA Cup win against Plymouth on Wednesday night, the more senior players struggled.
Daniel Sturridge in particular failed to live up to expectations which, off the back of his poor showing in the EFL Cup against Southampton last week (and subsequent total omission from the side that faced Manchester United on Sunday), suggests the striker is going through something of a rough patch.
Sturridge was replaced by Sheyi Ojo with fifteen minutes remaining (and seemed incredibly frustrated at that), while he is not expected to start in the Premier League game at home to Swansea on Saturday.
His performance and body language did not go unnoticed, and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has urged the 27-year-old to fight for his Anfield future or risk being turfed out by manager Jurgen Klopp in the summer.
Speaking on BT Sport while analysing Liverpool’s win at Home Park, Gerrard acknowledged Sturridge’s talent but challenged the England international to show Klopp why he is vital to the side’s title challenge:
“Only he knows whether he’s happy, whether he’s frustrated or whether he wants to go somewhere else and challenge himself.
“But Liverpool aren’t going to let him go for cheap. Liverpool need him. He scores goals when he plays, his minutes-to-goals ratio is incredible.
“I’m sure if someone came along with a huge, huge offer and Daniel wanted it there could be a solution there, but as it stands right now Liverpool need Daniel Sturridge and I can’t see him going anywhere short term.
“He’s capable of world-class moments and performances and I think Liverpool are on the verge of something really big under this manager,” the 36-year-old said.
“Maybe he is frustrated from week to week but there’s a great chance he could get silverware with Liverpool in the near future. If I were him I’d be patient. I think there’s good things on the horizon.”
With just two Premier League goals from five starts to his name this season, Sturridge is lagging behind his fellow Liverpool attackers. Should this streak of form continue until the end of the season, expect a whole host of transfer stories linking the forward with a move away from Anfield in the summer.