Daniel Sturridge: I am not Liverpool till I die
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has insisted he will do all he can to become a first choice striker under Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, but he admits he cannot guarantee his long-term future at the club.
Klopp has left Sturridge out of some of Liverpool's biggest games in recent weeks and he was an unused substitute in Thursday night's Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.
The fact that Klopp opted to field a side not featuring a regular striker and then threw Christian Benteke into the fray for the closing stages ahead of Sturridge left the impression hat the German manager did not trust the club's highest paid star.
Now Sturridge has hinted he was infuriated by his omission against Villarreal, in quotes appearing in the Daily Mirror.
"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," said Sturridge.
“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, and I am feeling good as well.
“I would never say I am Liverpool until I die, because I would be lying. There are things I want to achieve with Liverpool.
“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 Championships to to look forward to."
Meanwhile, Klopp has defended his decision to leave Sturridge out of his line-up, as his side lost 1-0 to a late goal against Villarreal.
"It is about finding a stability. With decisions like this it is always two questions," said the German.
"Was it the right decision to choose this line-up? With a 1-0 defeat you cannot be sure it is 100 per cent right.
"The next question is: Would I do it again? Yes. Then it is finished and I don't have to think about it again.
"That is my life - making decisions and in the end accepting the result.
"With Daniel in particular it is not about how it is always, it was a decision for this line-up. That is very important. It was not against Daniel.
"My job is not to do what you the media want, what the player wants, it is to try to help the player and help the team in this moment.
"I always try to do my best and because I am not perfect maybe it sometimes does not work. But next time I will try it again."
Read the views of Liverpool great John Aldridge on the Sturridge debate in this weekend's Sunday World.