Daniel Sturridge has hinted that his stay at Liverpool will go beyond this summer, saying, he feels “at home again”.
When it came to Sturridge’s Reds future, it seemed to be a case of when he would leave, rather than if.
In an unlikely turnaround, however, Sturridge has shone in pre-season, proving to be one of his side’s most vibrant players.
Three goals and one assist have come his way and it has led to many calling for the gifted striker to be retained ahead of the new season.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Sturridge discussed his current happiness and how he has worked harder on his all-around game, particularly in terms of dropping deeper into more of a No.10 role.
I love it here. I love the lads and the banter in the group is unbelievable. I feel at home again.
I’m probably just doing more. It’s important for me to try to get involved.
Playing on the shoulder is what I like to do but it’s also important to come and get involved and get in and around the opposition’s No.6. It’s adding more strings to my bow and giving the manager more options if he needs to play me deeper.
But wherever I play, it doesn’t matter – it’s just important to get the minutes.
It is often easy to treat footballers like robots and assume they don’t go through the same struggles that ‘normal’ folk do on a daily basis.
This is a long way from the truth, of course, and Sturridge admits solving issues in his private life has helped him find this new-found form, as well as watching Liverpool closely while at West Brom.
It was important for me to get my head in the right place and evolve as a person. I had things that I needed to sort out with my family and things like that.
I’m just happy to be back and to push myself and be part of the group again.
When I went away I learned too. That’s also a good thing. When you’re not involved in the environment you learn a lot about yourself, the team, watching from afar and seeing how the team are playing. You can learn more when you’re outside the environment.
I learned a lot watching the games the boys were playing in and also being away and being in a different team’s environment and seeing how they work too.
It is pleasing to see Sturridge enjoying his football again and thriving so much; if he can stay fit he remains a potent weapon for Klopp, albeit generally as an impact substitute.
Injuries will always be the main concern at the back of everyone’s mind, but for now, it looks like the Englishman will remain a Liverpool player.
Another standout performance against former club Man City in the early hours of Thursday morning would be another positive step in the right direction.