Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge says Daniel Sturridge's injury woes are responsible for Philippe Coutinho's poor form this season. The Brazilian midfielder has scored only one goal in all competitions, which came in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City in the first match of the season.
Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as the former Borussia Dortmund manager signed a three-year deal at Anfield. Since the German boss took over at Anfield, the England international has not featured in the three matches played owing to a knee injury.
Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson admitted Sturridge's injury and Coutinho's form are a problem for Klopp. Aldrdige has echoed the former Reds defender's views and urged the South American to step up in order to prove his worth.
"Sturridge also brings Philippe Coutinho in the play with his little flicks which [Divock] Origi doesn't because he can't hold on to the ball and seem things around him. Coutinho is having a really poor season, probably because he's got no one to help him," Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.
"He's lucky that he's retaining his place at the moment because we haven't got anyone banging on the door to replace him. He's got to get better. We know what he can do but he looks like he's not enjoying his football and just being on the pitch is hard work for him.
"Normally he's got a smile on his face but it appears that this season is like an endurance test for him for whatever reason – he only knows. He's got to buck up for himself and the team and start getting it right."
Aldridge had earlier cautioned Liverpool fans not to expect instant success under Klopp. The ex-Anfield striker admitted Sturridge's ongoing injury problems are a concern for the new Reds' manager.
"Daniel Sturridge's continued injury problems have become a major worry. It has been for some time. If we can keep him on the pitch he scores goals and his strike rate is excellent but we can't keep him on the pitch for any length of time," he explained.
"The situation has become a bit desperate to be fair so let's just hope it's down to lady luck and it will change because I've seen people who are injury prone and unfortunately Daniel seems to be one of those players for one reason or another."