Keys wrote: “Sturridge is a genuine talent, but he lacks the mental strength to ever be a genuine top, top player. This little story also bothers me. When Suarez left Liverpool Rodgers invited Sturridge to be his new talisman. He offered him the iconic No. 9 jersey and told him to 'lead from the front'. Sturridge turned him down. I'm told he 'didn't want the pressure’.”
Keys believes that Sturrridge has issues with his mentality which will prevent him ever becoming a truly world class talent, despite being arguably the most naturally gifted English footballer currently playing.
He proved against Southampton on Wednesday evening that his goalscoring is still excellent, even after spending ages out injured, but his time spent on the sidelines has all-but ended his career as anything other than a luxury player.
There are doubts about Sturridge’s injury record as well, with many suggesting that his injuries are not actually physical. Keys certainly agrees with this view, and the story he has heard about the forward’s attitude certainly suggests that there is a mental issue with Sturridge.
He refused to accept the responsibility of taking on the number nine shirt when Luis Suarez left, becoming the key talisman of the team who so desperately needed some form of leadership after the Uruguayan left for Barcelona.
He opted to instead continue out of the limelight, and Keys believes that he dd not want to accept the pressure.
Sturridge is an undoubted talent, and a truly gifted goalscorer, but until he can start to take the responsibility that comes with his abilities, he will struggle to live up to his potential.