Liverpool legend Phil Thompson fears Daniel Sturridge will quit Anfield if he is omitted from the starting line-up for this evening's (5 May) Europa League clash against Villarreal. The injury-prone striker was a substitute for the first leg of the semi-final in Spain and has admitted to being frustrated about being dropped for the crunch encounter.
Thompson thinks Sturridge is unhappy with his current situation at Liverpool and may seek a move elsewhere if he continues to be overlooked for the big games. "I'm really worried for Daniel not getting any game time in the first leg and you could see his body language against Swansea was sort of resigned," he said of the former Chelsea striker, according to Sky Sports.
"It's a big night for his Liverpool career. I think if he doesn't play then he will have a big question mark over his future and whether he will fit in here. You want to have your manager's trust in you playing big games."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp opted for a defensive line-up in Spain, with Roberto Firmino leading the line in favour of Sturridge. And Thompson admitted to being especially shocked by Klopp's decision to introduce Christian Benteke as a second-half substitute instead of Sturridge.
"I can appreciate Klopp starting Roberto Firmino, but I was shocked he didn't come on with 20 minutes to go, when an away goal looked up for grabs," the Liverpool legend explained.
"Benteke came on at half-time on Sunday and his body language was positive and, with Klopp shaking his hand after he scored, you wonder whether he's ahead of Daniel in the pecking order.
"It's very difficult for us looking in and knowing what goes on in the training but that may be what is determining how and why he's not started big games. For me, I would definitely have him in the starting line-up for the second leg."