Daniel Sturridge has fuelled speculation over his future by refusing to commit to Liverpool for the long-term and revealed he thinks he can replicate the success of former team-mate Luis Suarez.
The 26-year-old striker was controversially left out of Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie at Villarreal on Thursday despite the absence of Divock Origi through injury.
Sturridge has insisted he wants to be on the pitch every minute of every game, even though he has had major injury issues in the past and believes it would be dishonest of him to promise he will always remain at Liverpool.
He said to The Mirror: “There are things I want to achieve with Liverpool, but I would never say I am Liverpool until I die because I would be lying.
“I think any player who says, ‘oh yeah, this is the only team I will play for, for the rest of my life’, they are deluded. In football, every team looks for replacements every single year.
“So for myself all I can do every weekend is go out there, perform as well as I can, perform to the best of my abilities and then come the end of the season hopefully have the European Championship to look forward to – and to next year.
“I’m feeling so good right now, feeling great, and my body is at a level where I’m able to play however many games a week repeatedly and not break down.
“I’m so ambitious, so hungry, right now for success that it is hard to put it into words. Now I’m in a place where I feel amazing and I feel ready to play every game for the team.
“Maybe people don’t see this, but I am someone who wants to play every minute of every match, so maybe when I’m not starting or when I’m taken off, it’s hard to take.
“You want to be on the pitch every single match, every single minute. It’s exciting, of course, what the manager is bringing and where we are heading. I am doing everything in my power to be out there on the pitch.”
Sturridge was part of a lethal strike duo with Suarez when Liverpool came within two points of the Premier League title in 2013-14 – the pair scoring 52 times between them in the top flight that season.
Since then, Sturridge has only started 16 league games in two seasons, while Suarez won the treble in his first campaign at Barcelona before excelling this year – he already has 53 goals to his name in 2015-16.
But the England striker is not losing faith that he can match his ex-team-mate’s accomplishments in the game.
Sturridge continued: “Suarez has done incredibly since going to Barcelona, and you know, I still have to believe that is my destiny too.
“I don’t doubt it, I don’t doubt the plan – I have been through a lot, but I feel like I am a new, improved version of myself.
“Why? Just because I’m probably scoring goals that I didn’t used to score. I think it’s down to the time away from the game, watching. The experience I had prior to that and then also being stronger. My body is able to do those types of things.”
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