Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Monday October 7 2013
Midfielder Jordan Henderson has praised the ability and form of Daniel Sturridge and backed his Anfield colleague to fire England to the next World Cup...
Daniel Sturridge's impressive solo strike against Crystal Palace on Saturday took his goals tally for the season to eight.
That total, notched over just nine games, includes a top flight-leading six goals in seven Premier League appearances.
The 24-year-old's performances, aided in recent weeks by strike partner Luis Suarez's return from suspension, have fired Liverpool into second place in the standings.
Club mate Jordan Henderson, who also previously played alongside Sturridge for England at U21 level, believes the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward is benefitting from playing regularly in his preferred position.
"Daniel's always been a confident lad," explained Henderson in the Liverpool ECHO. "Even in the U21s he was always wanting the ball all the time, doing his skills and getting his shots away.
"But now he's been given the opportunity to play as a striker every week in the Premier League and I think he has benefited from that.
"He's come here and the manager has put great confidence and belief in him. And he's shown what he can do and can give back.
"His form is outstanding and he's improving all the time with his awareness, his touch and his finishing. He's got the lot really."
Sturridge hit the ground running the moment he arrived on Merseyside in January with three goals in his first three appearances, becoming the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to accomplish such a feat.
The one-time Bolton Wanderers loanee has since compiled an overall record of 19 goals in 25 matches and Henderson believes Sturridge is ready to make a similar impact at international level.
"I think he can be brilliant for England," continued the midfielder. "There's obviously two big games coming up and he can contribute a lot in those two games. He's been sharp and getting goals. I think he'll play a big part."
Sturridge has so far only featured on six occasions for the senior Three Lions, scoring once.
He missed last month's World Cup Qualifiers through injury but is back in the squad for the deciding two games which take place on Friday and next Tuesday.
Victories against Montenegro and Poland, both to be played at Wembley, will secure England's passage to the finals in Brazil next summer.
Sturridge has been an amazing signing and at £12million represents an absolute bargain compared with the majority of our investments over the past few seasons. I have no doubt he can replicate his Liverpool exploits for England and, given our recent struggles at international level, he may well need to if we are to reach Brazil 2014. Along with most Reds, I will be cheering him on but at the same time praying he comes back in one piece!
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Date:Monday October 7 2013
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