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“Of course” – Jurgen Klopp adamant Daniel Sturridge still has a Liverpool future

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Jurgen Klopp has defied the widely held belief that Daniel Sturridge will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, insisting the striker has a future.

Sturridge has made just six starts in the Premier League this season, and 26 appearances overall, with his minutes limited by injury.

The 27-year-old has also found himself behind both Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi in Klopp’s pecking order, with the Brazilian particularly favoured up front.

But he has still scored seven goals, including one in his first league start since January 2, when Liverpool sealed a 4-0 win over West Ham last weekend.

This has led to widespread calls for Klopp to retain the England international ahead of a summer that will reportedly see him depart the club after four-and-a-half years.

And speaking to the Times as the Reds prepare for their season closer at home to Middlesbrough, Klopp said there would “of course” remain a place for Sturridge on Merseyside.

However, the German rightly stressed misgivings over the No. 15’s fitness were the cause of his peripheral role.

“A fit Sturridge is an unbelievable player. That’s a pity of the situation, [it’s] not often enough,” he continued.

“But he’s now fit, spot on, trained two or three weeks.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 14, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correiacelebrates scoring the second goal against West Ham United with team-mates Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge during the FA Premier League match at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Based on Sturridge’s performance at West Ham alone, there should be no doubt over his long-term role at Anfield.

But that this is his third successive season disrupted by regular injury problems remains a major concern, and it is clear why the more robust Firmino is preferred.

Speaking after the victory at the Olympic Stadium, Sturridge also suggested he would be open to staying with the Reds beyond the summer.

“I’m at this club, I’m enjoying my football when I play,” he explained.

“The manager’s shown faith in me, we have a good relationship as well, the fans have been different class.

“So we’ll see. I don’t have any worries about next season.”

Sturridge is likely to start in Liverpool’s last game of the campaign at home to Middlesbrough on Sunday, with Firmino still a doubt.

This could give him the chance to further underline his importance to the Reds, or provide him with an opportunity to wave farewell to supporters after 119 games.

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