Andre Villas-Boas has compared Daniel Sturridge to Porto superstar Hulk ahead of what could be the Chelsea's forward's maiden England call-up.
Sturridge was forced to bide his time after moving to Stamford Bridge two years ago and admitted before Villas-Boas' appointment this summer that he would consider leaving in search of first-team football. But he is now being widely tipped for a senior international call for his country's final European Championship qualifier in Montenegro on Friday.
He would go with a ringing endorsement from Villas-Boas, who sees similarities between the forward and the man whose 36 goals helped the Chelsea's boss' Porto side clinch an incredible four trophies last season.
Ahead of the Blues' Barclays Premier League trip to the Reebok Stadium, where Sturridge scored twice in a 5-1 win, Villas-Boas said: "He offers me a little bit of the characteristics that I had with Hulk when I was at Porto."
Sturridge has previously expressed a desire to play as a central striker but Villas-Boas sees him exclusively on the right or left of an attacking trio for the time being.
"For this season, we won't use Daniel in the striker position," he said, revealing that space was reserved for the suspended Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Romelu Lukaku.
"We have been using Daniel on the right, coming inside. I spoke about it with Daniel in the beginning when I brought him over. Daniel is extremely happy in that position as well.
"I think it favours his natural and technical abilities and his pace, so he's competing for right and left winger positions. I use him on the right so, on his left foot, he likes to come in, likes to decide his next action.
"The good thing is he creates unpredictability when he goes onto his right foot."
Sturridge has always been quick but he has now added an end product to his game, both in terms of creativity and finishing.
Villas-Boas said: "You have pacey players but, in the end, what is more important is that, when you arrive to the ball, being able to do something with it and control it. He's a player who offers that. His abilities have been showing since last year, at Bolton and now at Chelsea and also at the European Under-21 Championship."
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