Former Liverpool man Jason McAteer has strong words for Daniel Sturridge

The England international has struggled for fitness this season.

Daniel Sturridge made his latest return to first-team action after more injury trouble against West Ham United in the FA Cup in the week.

He had played just six times this season prior to that return - scoring four goals. He struggled with fitness last term as well, after scoring an exceptional 28 goals in 42 games for club and country in 2013-14.

There have been questions about his mentality and attitude in recent weeks.

It has been suggested that perhaps Sturridge's injury problems are partly down to his own frailty mentally.

One man who certainly believes so is ex Liverpool star Jason McAteer. He spoke to the Irish Post this weekend and was not pleased with the England striker.

He stated:

“The question is ‘what is wrong with Daniel Sturridge, why can’t he get on the football pitch?’ Everyone is putting it down to this mental weakness that he seems to have. He seems to want to be 100 per cent before he goes out and plays...

"As a manager, Jurgen [Klopp] needs someone he can rely on, someone who can play the majority of the games...

"Ninety-five per cent was the best I ever got. I was always carrying a little niggle or a knock and sometimes you just have to roll your sleeves up and get on with it. I’ve never come across it before, I’m really surprised and as a Liverpool fan I’m gutted about it, he adds so much when he’s on the pitch.”

Those words might sound a little harsh from McAteer but he is reflecting how some of the Liverpool fans appear to feel about the situation regarding the England international.

Sturridge has struggled with muscular injuries in recent times but McAteer clearly feels that a big part of his continued absence is not necessarily a physical problem - but a desire to only play when 100 per cent.

Whatever the case, Liverpool fans will be hoping that Sturridge is at the level he needs to be to perform at his best on a regular basis.

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