Daniel Sturridge says he expects to stay at Liverpool this summer, despite being strongly linked with a move away.
The England international, who turns 29 in September, has been linked with a move to Besiktas, following a six-month loan at West Brom last season.
That loan spell was unsuccessful, falling to injury early on limiting the striker to just six appearances, and the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League.
He has since returned for pre-season training amid speculation over his future, and has produced a series of bright displays in a new role behind the centre-forward.
This has sparked an unlikely debate over whether Sturridge could resurrect his career under Jurgen Klopp, who is seemingly considering a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation this season.
And speaking to the Mirror ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season friendly at Blackburn, Sturridge expressed his desire to remain on Merseyside.
“I see myself staying at Liverpool, hopefully being part of the team week in, week out,” he said.
“Pre-season is going well, so for me it’s keeping my head down and building on that. I’m excited about the season ahead and it feels great to be back.”
“Pre-season has started well for me and the team,” he added. “I am feeling great and can’t wait to get the season under way.
Given the struggles of both Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi over the past 12 months and into pre-season, and the long-term absence of teenager Rhian Brewster, Klopp is short of reliable attacking options.
Whether Sturridge can be described as reliable given his well-documented fitness issues is questionable, but he is certainly proven in terms of quality.
In 133 games for Liverpool he has scored 63 goals, with 21 of those coming in 63 appearances under Klopp—who has reiterated that “there is a future” for his No. 15.
Though this could differ from the manager’s private stance, Sturridge’s performances this pre-season may prove his worth to Klopp.
Having spent a troubled six months back in his native West Midlands, he seems to have acknowledged that Liverpool remain his best prospect, as he is still revered at Anfield.