Swansea manager reveals admiration for Liverpool’s “very talented” Daniel Sturridge

20 January 2017

Swansea boss Paul Clement crosses paths with Daniel Sturridge again adamant that the England striker can become a Liverpool hit under Jurgen Klopp.


Sturridge’s future on Merseyside remains a hot topic with the 27-year-old having started only five Premier League games this season.

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard urged his old team-mate to show patience at Anfield after Sturridge produced another underwhelming performance in the FA Cup win over Plymouth in midweek.

And Clement insists that Sturridge can fit into Klopp’s high intensity style of play if he stays healthy.

“I worked with him at Chelsea, and Daniel is a very talented player,” Clement said ahead of Swansea’s trip to Liverpool.

“If he can stay injury-free and get a consistent run in the team he is as good as any striker there is.

“He has fantastic pace, a good left foot, individual skill. He has just had problems with injuries.

“There is a lot of selfless work and mental strength involved in that style of high-intensity pressing game.

“But physically he can do what Jurgen Klopp wants from his strikers, he has the physical attributes.

“Liverpool have always had good front players and he is as good as any on his day.”

SWANSEA, WALES - Saturday, January 14, 2017: Swansea City's manager Paul Clement (Pic by Gwenno Davies/Propaganda)

Clement has fond memories of winning at Anfield when he was Chelsea assistant manager under Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

Chelsea won there in the Champions League in 2009, and the following year they virtually wrapped up the Premier League title with a 2-0 victory on Merseyside.

He also has first-hand experience of Klopp’s pressing philosophy in a 2014 Champions League tie when he was Real Madrid assistant manager and the Liverpool boss was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

“[Liverpool and Dortmund] are similar,” Clement said. “A lot of energy, good players, young, run a lot.

“We were good in the first leg and won 3-0, but we were really under pressure in the second leg and we were 2-0 down coming to the end of the first half.

“It was one of the longest second halves of my life. They actually hit the post, which would have it made it 3-3, but we got there in the end.

“It is worth remembering that Liverpool have had to go through a few problems to get to the point they are at.

“They had a few injuries initially, But they have come through that and I think they are the outstanding team in terms of physical output in the entire league.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The game looks an ill-matched contest on paper with the highest scorers in the league confronting the division’s leakiest defence.

Third-placed Liverpool have scored 49 goals in 21 games, the same amount rock bottom Swansea have conceded.

“We are going to have to be very well organised and have a lot of mental strength in the game,” Clement said.

“We may not have the ball for long periods and we may be on the back foot for periods.

“So we are going to have to play very well to get anything out of the game.”

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