Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he finally understood the hype around Daniel Sturridge after his side’s 6-1 thrashing of Southampton.
Sturridge made his first start since October and scored a first-half brace before being substituted around the hour-mark in the League Cup quarter-final at St Mary’s on Wednesday.
Divock Origi struck a hat-trick and Jordon Ibe was also on the scoresheet in the comprehensive win.
Klopp said he could finally see what all the fuss was about when it came to Sturridge, riddled by injuries but having shown his quality with 21 Premier League goals in 2013-14.
“I said to him after the game, ‘Now I know what everyone is talking about,'” the German said.
“I knew about his quality, but I never saw it live in a stadium, in an important tournament, but the rest I knew about.
“Go on, for everybody, it’s no special thing. It’s important for us that we have these good strikers that can react in the moments.
“We spoke about this at Liverpool a few days ago. If everybody is fit then we have a few disappointed players, if not enough players are fit then the intensity is too high for the healthy players.”
Klopp said he was unsure how long Sturridge could play heading in, but felt his decision to start the England international was the right one.
Asked if the 26-year-old could recapture his form of previous seasons, Klopp said he had no idea.
“Please. You don’t really want to ask this question. How should I know? Please,” he said.
“You ask me, you know him much longer than myself.
“Of course maybe he can be better. Write that, ‘chairman says Daniel Sturridge can be much better than he was a few years ago.'”