Daniel Sturridge has committed his future to Liverpool by insisting he is determined to bring success to the club.
There were reports last month which claimed the 26-year-old was looking for a way out in the summer after not only becoming frustrated with his injuries but also the suggestion he was not happy with the way the club had handled the situation.
However, speaking on the eve of a crucial few days in their season – with a Europa League last-32 second-leg clash at home to Augsburg being followed by the League Cup final on Sunday – Sturridge insisted winning trophies at Anfield was all that was on his mind.
“I don’t think anyone will understand how much it means to me to play football and I’ll continue to do my best and focus on Liverpool,” said the striker.
“It has been a difficult time being injured but it is part of football and now I’m looking forward to the future, of course with Liverpool.
“There is not much to stress about the situation; I’m pretty relaxed, I’ve been relaxed and I’m happy here.
“I’m totally focused and of course I want to be on the pitch every game playing like every player and it hurts not to be playing.
“I am very ambitious, very determined to help Liverpool have success.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp, who has had to field endless questions about Sturridge’s fitness and future since he arrived in October, was pleased the player was able to finally speak publicly for himself.
“I agree with everything he said. It was interesting to hear what you asked. He was completely relaxed,” he said.
“A few things are more clear now than before. That is what we need. We don’t want to think about the wrong things.
“I heard from him not from second or third-hand a lot of times ‘future LFC’ and I don’t know another LFC so I think he means Liverpool Football Club.
“Everything is fine and you can all stop thinking about this. This is good for us.
“He is a really good football player and now he is able to play. That is what we want to see all the time.”
Despite playing only nine matches since April, Sturridge will be key to Liverpool’s fortunes this week as he will be spearheading the attack.
Klopp has no hesitation about playing the England international twice despite there being less than 69 hours – or possibly less if the European tie goes to extra time and penalties – between the two games and Sturridge is comfortable with it too.
“I think it’s important for everyone to be ready, not just myself,” he said.
“It’s a collective to be ready for the two games ahead. We are prepared for it, we are ready for them.
“It’s just important to have the right mentality and get the jobs done.”
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