Richard Keys has insisted that former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers lost patience with striker Daniel Sturridge after the he rejected the opportunity to lead from the front and wear the No.9 shirt at Anfield.
Writing in his blog, the former Sky Sports pundit has also suggested that new Reds chief Jurgen Klopp has already been very clever with Sturridge by questioning whether he knows the difference between pain and real pain.
Sturridge, after another lengthy spell on the sidelines, returned to action on Wednesday evening, scoring a brace in Liverpool's 6-1 demolition of Southampton at St Mary's.
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However, it appears that after the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014, Liverpool's former manager wasn't pleased with the striker's attitude during a conversation in his office.
Keys wrote: "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'. I believe that Rodgers lost patience with him, during the conversation in his office, right there and then. I would've done too.
"Klopp has questioned whether Sturridge knows the difference between 'pain' and 'real pain'. Clever. Very clever. Over to you Daniel. Do you want to be part of what's happening at Liverpool or not?"
How mentally strong is the Liverpool striker? He's had to deal with so many injuries over the course of the last few years, so you have to admire his courage to return to the pitch time-and-time again.
But, perhaps, there is a fundamental issue with the England international. It's clear to see that he's one of the most dynamic and talented strikers in the division, but is he able to prove his credentials week in, week out?
Sturridge highlighted once again on Wednesday just what he's all about, but he must now express himself on a consistent basis under the guidance of Klopp.
Liverpool fans: how many goals do you expect Sturridge to score this season if he stays fit? Have your say below!
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