Jamie Carragher reveals damning details on the mentality of Daniel Sturridge
Jamie Carragher has told Daniel Sturridge that he is becoming better known for his injuries than his goals.
The Liverpool striker suffered yet another fitness set-back on Thursday when he was withdrawn from the club's Europa League squad for the game against Bordeaux with a foot injury. A scan later revealed no serious injury.
Jurgen Klopp's patience appears to be wearing thin, with the manager telling the England international that he must learn the difference between "serious pain and only pain".
“We have to accept the situation, he’s often been injured in the last few months, maybe year,” said Klopp.
“I understand why everyone is waiting. If it wasn’t someone with the quality of Daniel no-one would think about it. You have to learn what is serious pain or only pain – but of course everyone wants him back on the pitch.”
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Sturridge has missed 73 out of 145 competitive matches since he joined Liverpool, starting just seven times last season and missing the last nine games of the current campaign.
Now former Liverpool defender Carragher has added his voice to the debate, saying that Sturridge's habit of breaking down with injury is at risk of ruining his reputation.
Writing in his column in the Mail, Carragher said: "The one thing I remember most of all from being his team-mate is that he had to feel 100 per cent right mentally and physically in order to play.
"The thing is, with professional football, it’s not often any player will take to the field 100 per cent fit. There is always a knock or something niggling and when that is the case, you just grit your teeth and get through it.
"But Sturridge’s continued unavailability is presenting Liverpool with a problem now. If they put him up for sale, every top club bar Manchester City would take him over their strikers, but how long can Liverpool wait for him to be ready?
"Do the club start to think they need to move him on, to get a good fee and save on his big wages?
"Christian Benteke’s arrival was a statement from the owners and Brendan Rodgers that they could no longer rely on Sturridge and it looks as if Harry Kane has overtaken him with England through his consistent availability and his performances.
"I’m a massive fan of Kane but a fully-fit Sturridge is better. Daniel’s problem now, though, is that he’s being remembered more for injuries than goals. And he is the only man who can change that perception."
Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has urged fans not to give up on Sturridge, despite his injury problems.
"I understand and share the frustrations the Liverpool fans are having at the moment with Sturridge - but he is just too good to forget," he wrote in the Liverpool Echo.
"We can’t rely on Sturridge regularly, of course. But neither can we give up on him entirely, I feel. When he is fit he has the ability to score plenty of goals - the hardest thing in the game to do."