In Brief

Can injury-free Daniel Sturridge spearhead Liverpool title push?

Transfer window is an 'opportunity' says Klopp, but last season's players must take the 'next step'

Despite signing winger Mohamed Salah for £36m and being linked with big names such as Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says a title push next season will depend on improvements within the current squad.

Speaking during the club's pre-season tour of the Far East, Klopp said the transfer window offered an "opportunity", but added: "The world thinks improving is only about bringing in new players… but the main thing I think about is how we can make the next step with the players we had last season."

One player who could prove critical next season is injury-prone Daniel Sturridge, who the Liverpool manager says is in the "best condition" he had seen.

Klopp now plans to "unleash" the striker on the Premier League, says the Daily Mail.

"Sturridge has been troubled by a spate of injuries since joining the Reds from Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2013 and hip problems restricted his impact to just seven goals from 27 appearances last season," it adds.

"The 27-year-old has recently been linked with a big-money move to China, but Klopp insisted Sturridge was going nowhere, backing him to return to the kind of form that almost helped bring Liverpool a league title in his first season on Merseyside."

Sturridge has impressed Klopp with his attitude, reports the Daily Mirror.

"[He] has shown his determination to force his way back into the Anfield starting line-up - and World Cup contention - by hitting the treadmill early," says the paper.

"Last month he posted images of himself at the gym even a week before his team-mates were due back for pre-season. Klopp revealed the hard work has paid off with Sturridge now raring to go."

However, it remains to be seen if the striker can earn a place in the Reds' line-up. Klopp likes a fluid formation with speedy, versatile attackers and with the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, and Salah vying to play alongside Philippe Coutinho, Sturridge - who prefers to play through the middle - may have to wait for his opportunity.

Klopp also has Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke to call upon, providing him with even more options in the central striking role.

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