The new season could prove to be the making of Daniel Sturridge, as he bids to become a permanent fixture at Chelsea.

Sturridge enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Bolton during the second half of last season, where he scored eight times in 12 appearances, and returns to Stamford Bridge with a burgeoning reputation.

Owen Coyle has been reasonably vocal in terms of his wish to bring the 21-year-old back to the Reebok Stadium for a second stint, but Sturridge is expected to have a part to play at Chelsea next term.

Sturridge has already made his mark during pre-season, scoring against Kitchee in Hong Kong on Wednesday, which will only further reinforce his claims for a regular starting berth under Andre Villas-Boas.

The new Chelsea boss has yet to iron out his favoured formation and, with some reports suggesting the Portuguese will opt for a three-pronged attack when the season gets going, Sturridge could well find himself very much part of Villas-Boas' plans.


 

A self-assured young man, Sturridge certainly has the ability to challenge his senior colleagues for a spot in Villas-Boas' starting XI, and finding the net during pre-season will only breed further confidence in the young striker.

Scoring regular is the ultimate goal for Sturridge, who was delighted to open his account for the summer earlier in the week. "I'm very happy with the goal, and obviously always happy to be scoring goals as a forward, helping the team win games," he said.

"I felt a little bit tired beforehand but I'm not getting much sleep at night but I was able to go out there and get a bit more fitness under my belt from the game, and felt good."

He added: "Training has been very good, it's been a great pre-season for me so far, so I hope it can continue in the remaining games and keep readying myself for the season."

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Daniel Sturridge