Steven Gerrard admits he has been taken aback by the quality Daniel Sturridge has shown this season.
After Sturridge's performances for Liverpool in which he has scored 16 goals in 21 Premier League games since his move from Chelsea last January, the England captain will be hoping that the striker can perform for England like he has for his club.
Quoted in The Telegraph, the player said: “He’s needed a manager who was prepared to build a team around him, put him as a main striker, the No 9, and we've see nothing but quality."
Gerrard was indeed referring to Sturridge's situation at his former clubs, where he was consistently played out of position and consequently did not perform to his ability.
"He’s even better than I thought he was," continued Gerrard.
"He’s different: razor sharp, great technique and can score any kind of goal. The stage is set for Daniel to do his stuff. I think he can be whatever he wants to be – he has that much ability. He can be a top England striker for a long, long time.
"He will get an awful lot of caps and goals and I am sure he can add himself to the great names back at the club as well."
For Liverpool, Sturridge will be hoping to emulate the likes of Ian Rush, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
For the Three Lions, the former Chelsea striker will have a tough job catching the likes of Owen, who scored 40 goals in 89 England appearances. However, the stage is set for him to perform tonight; he has a chance to cement himself in Roy Hodgson's plans.
The other strikers in the squad for tonight's game are Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe and Rickie Lambert. Sturridge is expected to start alongside Rooney.
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