Dietmar Hamann says Daniel Sturridge’s return is a “massive boost”, but Liverpool must be wary of his fitness.
Sturridge returned a fortnight ago in the draw against Norwich after being sidelined since April with a hip injury, and scored twice on only his second start back against Aston Villa last weekend to inspire a 3-2 victory.
The England international has a storied history of injury problems, but with Christian Benteke also out, the onus is on Sturridge to lead the line for the Reds.
Former Liverpool midfielder Hamann has expressed his delight at Sturridge’s return, but has warned that he must now stay fit.
“It’s a massive boost to have him back, but if Liverpool are to be successful then he’s got to be there now for the next 20-30 games,” Hamann told the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s no good doing it for a couple of weeks and then being out again, because then the whole team has to change again. He has to show he can stay fit, and hopefully he will.
“It’s massive to have him available. Obviously he missed a lot of games, so we need to keep him fit – especially if Christian Benteke is going to be out.
“If you’ve got somebody with pace who can stretch defences and score goals, then it’s a massive plus as we saw on Saturday. It brings the level of other players up as well.
“I do think that this is why you shouldn’t be too harsh on some of the players who came last year, because they were pretty much playing the season without a centre-forward.
“For now, they have that centre forward. But they need him consistently, not just for five or six games.”