Graeme Souness says that Daniel Sturridge’s preparation for games is “the first thing I’d look at”.
Sturridge is expected to stay at Liverpool this summer despite being linked with Newcastle, West Ham and a number of foreign clubs.
The striker scored seven goals in 27 games last season, but only 11 of his appearances were starts.
He faces a battle to feature ahead of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho in Liverpool’s frontline, but Souness says he has the talent to match any Reds player.
The Scot has however questioned the England international’s mentality, and his preparation ahead of matches.
“If Daniel Sturridge didn’t have these issues of keeping fit, he’d be the first name on the team sheet,” Souness told talkSPORT.
“I think he’s got amazing qualities, but he just can’t get himself fit.
“I saw a game towards the end of the season and the camera panned on Sturridge and it showed him warming up, and it was pathetic. He wasn’t stretching properly, he was just going through the motions.
“If that’s him preparing for a game, if he’s like that every day in training, you’ve got to get that right first of all. That’s the first thing I’d look at – his training.
“You can get away with it in other positions, but not as a striker, when you’ve got to be bang at it and be explosive from the very first minute – something is going to go.
“I’m watching this kid warm up and I’m thinking, that just might be his problem.
“Try and get that right first, warm up properly, train properly, because the boy has exceptional talent and there are very few people out there with that kind of ability.
“Because where does he go after this? He’s been at big clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea before.
“If you’re thinking about him, you could watch him on any given day and think ‘wow, what a player’. But look at his stats – he doesn’t play enough games.”