Fair play to Jamie Carragher.
He could have snubbed Liverpool’s invitation to play in last month’s post-season exhibition match in Sydney after criticising several of Jurgen Klopp’s current squad in his role as Sky Sports’ lead pundit over the past few seasons.
But despite the potential awkwardness, Carragher accepted the invite and lined up alongside the likes of Loris Karius - the goalkeeper he advised to ‘shut up and do your job’ back in December - and Alberto Moreno, who has been slaughtered by the Liverpool legend on numerous occasions.
Another member of Klopp’s squad to find himself on the wrong side of the outspoken Carragher is Daniel Sturridge.
Carragher played alongside Sturridge at Anfield but feels the Reds might be better off selling the England international this summer.
Carragher said Liverpool should sell Sturridge
“I don't think Daniel Sturridge has ever been a Jurgen Klopp-type of player,” Carragher told Newsweek back in April.
“When everyone has been fit he's never really played. He's got injury problems which is an issue but I'll probably be surprised if he's there next season.
“It might be better for everyone if he moves on and tries to rejuvenate his career because he had a brilliant start to his Liverpool career; him and [Luis] Suarez were devastating. But it just seems to have tailed off now.”
Carragher: Sturridge pulled me to one side in Sydney
Sturridge had read Carragher’s comments and ended up having a word with his former teammate about the article in question during the recent trip to Australia.
“I’ve got a funny story about that, and I didn’t mind it actually – I was happy about it,” Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.
“As soon as I got on the plane, I could see Sturridge wasn’t his normal self with me. And he pulled me in Australia after the game, or at half time when we’d come off.
“He said ‘why did you say they should sell me?’.
“I said ‘ooh, fair enough!’ I thought ‘I’m not having you putting me on the back foot’ so I went straight back and said ‘well, what else can they do?!’”
Carragher: Sturridge wasn't pleased with my response
Carragher continued: “He wasn’t too happy that I’d said that, but my point was that a player of his quality, you either play or you go. If I was him, I wouldn’t want to be on the bench, and from Klopp’s point of view there is nobody else on the bench he could get money for, if he needed say £20m or £25m.
“Listen, you could still keep him. If Daniel Sturridge is happy playing 25 games next season, you are not going to get many sub strikers with his quality.
“But to be honest I’d seen Slaven Bilic speak about him towards the end of the season, so I thought ‘oh, he’ll end up at a West Ham or somewhere’. But you see his quality, it’s difficult to go and buy a striker with that.”
Carragher: It's fine that Sturridge questioned my comments
Carragher, however, feels Sturridge was well within his rights to question his public comments.
“I was happy he said it,” the Monday Night Football star added. “It’s fair enough; we give stick out, and plenty of praise too, so who are we to say that someone can’t have an opinion on us?
“He didn’t come across like a player who was looking to get out, I have to say that!
“I played with him. He’s always had that thing about him that he’s moody or difficult. I never saw it.
“He was quiet, but no different to a lot of other players. The big thing was getting him on the training pitch every day. It’s well-documented that he’s got to be 100 per cent and that he’s fearing his body is going to let him down.
“But as soon as you get him on the pitch, you can tell straight away. You can just tell with the way he controls the ball, the way he moves, you know you’ve signed a good player.”
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