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'Liverpool don't need to replace Sturridge' - Reds legend insists striker hasn't left a void which needs filling at Anfield

6:56 PM GMT+8 08/08/2019
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 2018-19
The former England frontman left Merseyside at the end of his contract earlier this summer and John Barnes does not think his presence will be missed

Jurgen Klopp does not need to sign a replacement for the recently-departed Daniel Sturridge, according to ex-Liverpool midfielder John Barnes.

Sturridge left Anfield upon the expiration of his deal in June, bringing to an end a six-year spell on Merseyside which was largely blighted by injuries.

The mercurial striker shone in his first full season at Liverpool, forming one-third of a fearsome attacking triumvirate alongside Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling, as the team narrowly lost out to Manchester City in a thrilling Premier League title race.

Unfortunately, he was unable to reach the same heights in the 2014-15 campaign amid consistent fitness issues and after Klopp's arrival at Anfield, he was forced to take up a backup role within the squad.

Sturridge was, however, able to make a significant contribution to Liverpool's cause last season, despite playing second fiddle to the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The 29-year-old netted four goals in 26 appearances for the Reds, with most of those coming as a substitute, before the club decided against offering him an extension.

There has been some suggestion that Klopp might bring in an extra striker before the transfer window closes, but Barnes does not feel that landing a replacement for Sturridge is a necessity for the European champions.

“Daniel Sturridge didn’t play much last year and we finished second in the league and won the Champions League," the Liverpool legend told bonuscodesbets.co.uk.

"So, do we need to replace him? We have Origi, who did well when he came on. He’s not the top scorer and first player on the team sheet so doesn’t need replacing.

"Had we lost Salah, Mane or Firmino and not replaced them, then you could say that it is an issue. He was a good player for Liverpool but I think he lost his way in the last couple of years, with his fitness as well. He has to find a home and get motivated for his own career and play. It’s a shame but we haven’t seen a fit Daniel Sturridge for a few years."

When asked where Sturridge could end up plying his trade next, Barnes added: “Sturridge has to get fit and motivated, no matter what club he goes to. He could go to Real Madrid or Birmingham City, but he won’t play if he’s not fit and motivated. I don’t think it’s a club that is important, it’s how hungry he is and if he can get motivated.

“If Sturridge can earn money in the MLS and it’s a competitive league, and if he feels he can’t get a club here for whatever reason, then it’s a good move. The players there are fit and strong and competitive. It’s the same all over the world.”

Klopp's men missed the chance to win their first silverware of the 2019-20 campaign last Sunday, losing against Manchester City on penalties in the Community Shield final at Wembley.

Liverpool matched the Premier League champions during normal time, however, despite still being without Mane, who was granted an extended break after international duties with Senegal.

Barnes felt Salah and Firmino led from the front admirably as the Reds showed the same intensity which served them so well last term, as he added: "It just didn’t happen for Salah on Sunday. I don’t look at individual players, I look at how well the team is playing and the whole team, particularly in the second half, played really well.

"Before that game, the first team hadn’t been together. There was no Mane, Salah, Firmino whereas they just left off, for me, in terms of performance and energy, and as well as how they pressed high up the field, from where they were last season.”