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Jurgen Klopp has expressed reservations about Daniel Sturridge being selected for the European Championships in France later this year, with the striker having only just recovered from an 18-month lay-off. The 26-year-old is back in contention for a place in the starting XI and Klopp would rather have Sturridge miss his national commitments and take part in a tailor- made pre-season with the Reds for the coming season.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has exercised patience and precaution in bringing Sturridge back into the mix and does not want the England international to suffer any more setbacks as he looks to regain his form from the 2013/14 season, when he scored 21 goals. The Reds have hit a lean patch, currently in the 11th spot with 35 points, 12 points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City.
Klopp is hoping that Sturridge's arrival will give them some momentum, especially with the Capital One Cup final scheduled in Wembley next weekend. His induction into the England squad will mean that the striker is fit but any sort of injury there will put Klopp's plans for next season in disarray.
"It's not my decision if he goes with England," said Klopp, as quoted by the Mirror. "Hopefully at the end of the season Roy Hodgson can make this decision. That's the most important thing, because that will mean Daniel is fit and playing for us. Roy then has to decide whether he can take him.
"If I say now, 'Yes, it's good for him to go' I can see the headline 'Klopp says Roy hasto take Daniel.' So there'll be no word from me about this. In the summer, if he's fit, I'd like to have him in the pre-season with us so it's not something LIKE a pre-season, it IS a proper pre-season."
The Reds travel to Aston Villa on Sunday, 14 February where any points dropped will be another massive blow to Klopp's credentials.