Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Daniel Sturridge has not been the same player for Liverpool since Luis Suarez left the club in 2014.
And quite frankly, he’s got a point.
The England striker scored an impressive 21 goals in 29 appearances during Liverpool’s close-but-not-quite-title-winning 2013/14 season, with Suarez sat alongside him in attack.
The pair, known affectionately among fans as ‘SAS’, were among the best attacking duos in Europe at the time.
But since then, injuries and a lack of confidence have taken their toll on the forward, who hasn’t taken his league tally into double figures in a single season since.
And Carragher believes it’s all down to Suarez’s departure to Barcelona over three years ago.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle, Carragher said: “Because he doesn’t play much now, whenever we talk about Sturridge we keep going back to that season when Liverpool nearly won the league – he was devastating with Luis Suarez.”
So far this season, Sturridge has managed just one goal from seven appearances in all competitions, and Carragher believes he’s missing the influence of his old Uruguayan teammate.
Carragher said: “I don’t think that player is there now, whether that’s due to injuries or not playing enough.
“The reason he played [against Newcastle] is because Roberto Firmino is not playing well.
“If Firmino is playing his normal level, then Sturridge doesn’t play.
“Klopp doesn’t fancy Sturridge, that’s why he doesn’t play.”
Despite his less-than-impressive performances for Liverpool this season, Sturridge has made it into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Three Lions’ upcoming World Cup qualifying games against Slovenia and Lithuania.
But, to be fair, so did Fabian Delph and Jesse Lingard.