England forward, Daniel Sturridge, has struggled for form and fitness over the last year or so. Since forming a formidable partnership with Luis Suarez in the 2013/14 season, where their goals carried Liverpool to within a couple of points of the title for the first time in two decades, Sturridge has been blighted by fitness problems.
There is now some better news, though, for the 26-year-old. Sturridge has returned to training for Liverpool for the first time since a hip operation in May. The Liverpool striker's last appearance was in the FA Cup sixth round, where he helped Liverpool to victory over Blackburn on April 8. The injury sustained in that fixture meant that Sturridge spent much of the summer rehabilitating in the USA.
These problems have coincided with the emergence of a number of striking options for England in recent months, which will worry Sturridge as he hopes to retain his place in the England set-up ahead of the European Championships next summer.
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Most notably, Harry Kane has burst onto the scene, but also Charlie Austin and Saido Berahino will provide competition for the Liverpool man. With Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck favourites of manager, Roy Hodgson, it may be that Sturridge will need to reestablish himself to get on the plane to France.
Last season, the ex-Chelsea striker played just 18 times, scoring five goals. Compared to his return of 24 goals in 33 appearances the previous season, it is clear to see that Sturridge has struggled with injuries and the loss of the talismanic Luis Suarez.
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At 26-years-old, Sturridge should be approaching his peak years as a centre-forward - and with experience at other Champions League clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea - Brendan Rodgers will expect more of him now than ever.
Rodgers has watched three of his most influential stars exit Anfield over the last 18 months in Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling. Sturridge, the last remaining of that impressive attacking quartet, will have to shoulder much of the goalscoring burden for Liverpool this season.
Roberto Firmino has been bought for a figure believed to be approaching £30 million this summer to provide Sturridge with competition, but the England star will have to be a leader in the dressing room, given his experience and success at the club.
Now, with hopefully an enduring recovery from injury, Sturridge will have it all to prove and yet greater expectations on his not-so-young shoulders.
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