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With the January transfer window a little over a month away.

It is imperative that Daniel Sturridge gets his upcoming injury return right, otherwise Jurgen Klopp may have to opt for another striker.

When should Liverpool start considering Daniel Sturridge's future?The former Chelsea and Manchester City player has been a huge success at Anfield, it is doubtful that anyone will forget his combination with Luis Suarez during 2013-14 – the ‘SAS’. The pair were tantalising and almost brought Liverpool the coveted English Premier League crown.

However, since the Uruguayan left the club, Sturridge has been on the medical table squirming with frustration, rather than dancing with joy in front of the Kop. The Englishman looked to set to have overcame his injury troubles after having surgery on his hip during the offseason, unfortunately the bug just re-spawned in his knee. The 25-year-old has not played for the Reds since their 1-1 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby at the beginning of October.

Since Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool have still struggled in front of goal as Danny Ings and Christian Benteke have had extensive periods on the sidelines. Whereas Brazilian signing Roberto Firmino did not provide the impact required when he played up front against Chelsea and Bournemouth in the cup.

It is only now that we are seeing Benteke begin to demonstrate why the Reds paid such a hefty price for the former Aston Villa forward. The Belgian has scored twice in the as many weeks versus Southampton and Chelsea, respectively. However, as the poor 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace last weekend cruelly demonstrated, Liverpool lack options up front. Klopp was not able to bring anyone onto the pitch for Benteke and the squad looked toothless for periods at Anfield.

If Sturridge comes back and makes a successful return, this conversation will be instantly forgotten and Liverpool can march forward in an attempt to try and capture English glory. But what if he comes back scores a goal or two and then picks up another injury?

Liverpool will see some good results and some lucky ones, yet there will also be some frustrating outings and overall they will never look like the complete package, because everyone knows Sturridge is waiting in a ward somewhere. It is a never ending cycle.

There is going to be a time when Liverpool fans are going to have to face the lingering question. Is he worth keeping? Klopp will eventually have to make a decision on whether or not Sturridge’s constant injury layoffs are worth it.

Firstly, his wages would not be cheap and if the Englishman is just sitting on the sidelines than Liverpool are losing money. Secondly, it hampers the fluidity of play and dressing room morale if players are forced to play makeshift roles during his absence, or have uncertainties about their spot knowing he will return eventually.

Obviously his quality on the pitch is more than worth it and the team operate better when he is in the side, as he links the midfield and the attack by dropping deep and helping out the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

But who says someone else could not play that role if Klopp did elect to dip his toe into the transfer market? And unlike Rodgers, there is no doubt the German tactician has more than enough influence to lure a world class talent.

Many Liverpool fans would agree in saying they would love to see Sturridge regain his health and get back to being one of the best footballers England has to offer, however, we have to be realistic and if this injury run continues into the New Year it could be time for the Reds to think about an alternative.

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Jake O’Brien, Twitter: @JakeOB27
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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