Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes Daniel Sturridge can breathe new life into his career at Anfield ahead of another injury comeback.
Sturridge was deemed fit enough to be named on the bench for Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Sunderland but did not feature and will again be in the squad for Tuesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against West Ham.
The 26-year-old England international has suffered a number of soft-tissue injuries over the last 18 months, which have stalled an impressive start to his Liverpool career.
He scored 21 goals in 29 Premier League appearances in the 2013-14 season and if he could get back to anything near that sort of form this term, it would go a long way to helping ninth-placed Liverpool climb the table.
“I think everybody hopes this,” said Klopp.
“Daniel hopes it. I hope it. That’s absolutely normal. That’s what we tried to do after the last injury.
“When we saw him in training, then yeah, you know why everybody is waiting for him.”
Klopp denied having ever criticised the former Chelsea and Manchester City striker’s fitness following reports Sturridge has become disillusioned with life on Merseyside.
“That’s what we have to do. It always sounds like a criticism, but it’s only a description of the situation. Nothing else,” the German continued.
“Everybody knew about it. It was like it was. And now it is like it is. And in this moment, it is thumbs up.
“And now if it’s possible, don’t let us think about the past, and how it was, maybe now we can start.
“Why shouldn’t it be possible? It’s possible. And then everything will be good, and hopefully in one year, we don’t want to talk about this anymore.
“I don’t know if it’s realistic, but we will see.”