London (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is trying to keep the peace with Daniel Sturridge after the frustrated striker complained about being played out of position.
Sturridge has been deployed on the right wing rather than in his preferred central striker’s berth in his two appearances for Liverpool this season and he made it clear he is unhappy Klopp has used him in the unfamiliar role.
The 26-year-old scored twice in the 5-0 English Football League Cup win at Burton Albion on Tuesday but afterwards said: “Of course it’s more difficult for me to play wide because I am a centre-forward.
“In the modern-day game you have to try and be flexible, but everyone knows my best position.
“I’m a player who plays on instinct, and in the middle I have clarity on movements and things that I have been doing for years.
“I am not saying I am happy to do it, I am saying I have to do a job for the team.”
Klopp was asked about Sturridge’s comments on Thursday and, although he didn’t rule out using the former Manchester City and Chelsea player on the flanks again, the German said there is no reason for Sturridge to see the role as a demotion.
“The first thing is I don’t want to play Daniel as a wide player but of course he can start there and play there but in the decisive moments he needs to be involved in all the finishing situations,” Klopp told reporters.
“I think both goals (against Burton) he scored inside the box so he was not on the wing in this moment — that is flexible football.
“That is how football works, it is not a fixed position (where you) stay outside and wait until you get the ball — especially not in Daniel’s case.
“Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions where it is not easy to defend and it is very often in a wing position.”
Sturridge has been injured for much of Klopp’s time at Anfield, but the German insisted his relationship with the England international is still good.
“We have still to work on a lot of things. I know him and when we have talks there is no issue,” Klopp said.
“It is only a starting position for the next offensive move for my team.
“We don’t have these positions anymore where you say, ‘You play this all the time’, it is normal.”
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