By support

5th Dec, 2016 | 6:44pm

Fowler: Liverpool cannot afford to sell 27-year-old in January

By Matt Farr

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler insists that Liverpool must keep hold of Daniel Sturridge.

The England striker has struggled this season, scoring just four goals, and has yet to open his account in the Premier League.

His poor form in front of goal, coupled with injury problems, means that Sturridge has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield, and he now finds himself behind the in-form Divock Origi.

Origi has scored five goals from 15 games in all competitions, and has found the back of the net in each of his last three appearances – which Fowler admits is a worry for Sturridge.

Fowler told the Mirror “The media have it in for him, but I don’t know why – when he does play he scores goals.

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“I think the unfortunate thing for Daniel, at the moment, is that he’s got players ahead of him who are playing tremendous and scoring lots of goals.”

Attacking duo Sadio Mane (seven) and Roberto Firmino (six) have also been in superb form in front of goal, and have scored 13 goals between them in all competitions – as Liverpool remain the league’s highest goalscorers with 35.

However, Fowler went on to add that despite the statistics, Sturridge – who is said to be a January target for West Ham – is still an important asset to Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp.

“A fit and firing Daniel Sturridge is top quality and we want top quality players at this club,” he said.

Sturridge is currently out with a calf injury, but the club have yet to confirm when they expect him to return.

Liverpool next face out-of-form West Ham at Anfield on Sunday, where Klopp’s men will be looking to make amends after their collapse against Bournemouth at the weekend.

The Reds were leading 3-1 with just 15 minutes to go, but conceded three goals to allow Bournemouth to come away with a priceless 4-3 victory.

In other Liverpool news, former Liverpool man Don Hutchinson has leapt to the defence of under-fire Loris Karius.