Sturridge exclusion against Villarreal will leave a scar, says Owen

The Liverpool forward was left on he bench in the 1-0 loss on Thursday.

Daniel Sturridge’s exclusion from Liverpool’s game against Villarreal will leave a scar, Michael Owen has told BT Sport.

The striker was left on the bench on Thursday, as manager Jurgen Klopp opted to go with Roberto Firmino as his striker for the Europa League semi final first leg clash.

It was a surprising decision from the German, with many having anticipated Sturridge would return to the line up in the absence of Divock Origi.

Ultimately the decision did not pay off either as the Reds lacked a cutting edge throughout the game in their eventual 1-0 loss.

And Owen has predicted that the striker will have been scarred by his manager decision to leave him out.

“It leaves a scar,” he told BT Sport.

“Strikers are a selfish breed and he’ll be very disappointed. As a centre-forward you feel you can change games. Klopp has done it from a tactical point of view but there will have been a double disappointment when Benteke comes on.”

Klopp’s decision to leave out Sturridge was certainly an interesting one and will only cause more speculation about his future at the club.

There is no denying his quality, as he has shown on more than one occasion, but question marks still remain over whether he can be relied upon long term given his injury record.

It is certainly something Klopp is aware of too; while the exclusion against Villarreal also hints he believes that the striker does not fit into his preferred tactical set up.

That could be a bigger issue in the future, and there is no doubt Sturridge would be happy without anything less than a starring role in the side

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