Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed any doubts over the attitude of Daniel Sturridge as the striker prepares to make his Anfield debut.
The 23-year-old is at his third big club in less than four years after leaving Manchester City in 2009 to play only 96 matches, almost half as substitute, for Chelsea.
Rumours persisted about Sturridge’s personality and suitability for the Premier League - indeed Rodgers was interested in signing him in August but reportedly wanted to take him on loan first.
But his £12million move to Merseyside could not have got off to a better start with goals in his first two appearances, one in the FA Cup victory at Mansfield and the other in the defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
He has certainly made an impact early, scoring seven minutes into the cup tie and 12 minutes after coming on at half-time at Old Trafford.
And Rodgers - whose side face Norwich this weekend - was keen to defend his new signing against the whispering campaign which has accompanied his short career so far.
“It has been very unfair, I have to say” said the Reds boss. “I remember being at Chelsea and I’d heard all these things about Nicolas Anelka being an awkward player and I found him one of the nicest guys I ever met in football.
“Sometimes when you are quiet and you focus on yourself you can be criticised for being awkward, but I don’t think that is the case with Daniel at all.
“He has mixed well here and is very hungry to learn. It is going to take time for him to feel at ease and comfortable.
“This will be his first time playing at Anfield and that is a real special feeling.”