Slaven Bilic has spoken about the attributes that make Daniel Sturridge such a special talent – and has come clean for the first time about West Ham’s interest in the player.
The Liverpool striker has been heavily tipped to leave Anfield either next month when the transfer window opens or at the end of the season. That’s despite Jurgen Klopp’s insistence that the England man will not be allowed to leave the club any time soon.
Sturridge will again be absent with a calf problem when West Ham make the trip to face Liverpool at Anfield – but Bilic does not believe the player’s injury record will prevent lots of interest in the player should Liverpool put him up for sale.
Speaking about the 27-year-old, Bilic said: “He’s one of the biggest talents, he’s a great player. The talent is there, the touch, the finishing, everything is great.
“The only thing that has stopped him being a regular for club and country are the injuries.
“He’s just a player that has been linked with us, basically, and we’ve been linked with almost every player.
“We’re always there in contention. Most of the time it’s absolutely not true, 95 per cent of the time.
“But you’re asking me about Sturridge and I have no problem about that. All the clubs are thinking about him because he is that kind of player.
“I don’t know his work rate, I don’t know his dedication to his job or whatever but unfortunately for England and for Liverpool and especially for him he’s injured. That’s his problem.”
Bilic on Liverpool test
Liverpool let a 3-1 lead slip to lose 4-3 to Bournemouth last weekend, but Bilic believes Klopp’s side will be there or thereabouts for the Premier League title this season.
They are definitely one of the contenders for the Premier League title – some of their football is great and most of their football is quite consistent this season,” he commented.
“Obviously last week was not great because they were winning 3-1 and lost 4-3, but they are obviously one of the title contenders.
“Of course that result gives us heart because they are conceding goals.
“In a 90-minute game you have all sorts of situations, but the way Liverpool play at Anfield, the opponent has to be solid first of all, compact behind the ball with numbers to stop them creating.
“Then, when you have the ball, you can hurt them.”