Liverpool favourite Dietmar Hamann believes Daniel Sturridge is now in the last chance saloon with Sadio Mane's injury presenting with a chance to save his Anfield future.
Jurgen Klopp admitted at a press conference on Tuesday that Mane's season could be over after the Senegal international suffered a knee injury during Saturday's Merseyside derby win over Everton.
The former Southampton midfielder will definitely miss Wednesday's Premier League clash with Bournemouth with Liverpool's medical team facing a nervous wait to determine the exact severity of the injury.
Mane is Liverpool's top scorer this season with 13 goals and with Liverpool facing a fight to hold onto a top four spot, his presence will be missed. Sturridge, meanwhile, has endured another injury-hit campaign having not started a game since early February, but is in contention to feature against Eddie Howe'e side.
Sturridge's availability could be pivotal should Mane miss out on the season run in, with the club's former midfielder Hamann insisting this might be his chance to save his Liverpool career.
"Huge blow if Mane was to be out for the season. Surely last chance saloon for Sturridge. Time to stop up for some of the others," he wrote on Twitter.
Sturridge will have plenty of incentive to recapture his form during his side's last eight games of the league campaign. During Tuesday's press conference, Klopp spelled out clearly where he wants to make changes in his squad during the summer transfer window, with the England international's place under threat unless he can prove his doubters wrong.
"We will show that we learned from this year," Klopp told a press conference ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash against Bournemouth. "The squad will change in a few positions, we will still have young players in the squad.
"The problems we had in January and February, the injury of Phil [Coutinho], Sadio [Mane] in January, Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge, should we have another striker or winger? Yes. It felt like this in other moments. Next year with more games we need more options. That is clear."
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