Martin King outlines the correlation between Sturridge performing well for England this summer and performing well for Liverpool next season.
It is often said that when he’s fully fit, Daniel Sturridge is one of the Premier League’s best strikers. Liverpool fans haven’t quite seen that side of Sturridge for two years. Not since the Englishman magnificently combined with Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, scoring 21 league goals. However, the England international overcame his injury woes under boss Jürgen Klopp last season, managing 13 goals for his club and can take another step closer to getting back to his best by impressing for his country in their Euro 2016 campaign.
The 26-year-old is a part of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for this summer’s tournament in France and is already looking forward to making a great impact. Sturridge’s last competitive goal for England came in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stages against Italy and the striker says he would fancy scoring more goals for the Three Lions in another big competition.
“It would be great,” he was quoted as saying by Liverpool’s official website. “It was a beautiful feeling to score in the World Cup and it would be nice to score some goals here as well.”
Strong performances up-front will be just as important as finding the back of the net for Sturridge. With his quick movement both on and off the ball, the Reds striker can trouble a lot of defenders and his ability to drop into deep or wider positions allows him to bring his fellow attackers into the game. Add to that a good technical ability with his left foot and there’s little reason for Hodgson to expect anything but the best from the former Chelsea man.
Delivering on a grand stage would not only benefit his country, it would also mean a lot to Sturridge and his club. For starters, it would add on to his bags of confidence as well as boost his fitness and that would directly benefit Liverpool as it would ensure that the Reds head into the 2016/17 season with a fully fit and firing striker. It would also please manager Klopp, who will be entering his first full season in charge of the club.
The German has been linked with the purchase of a high-profile striker in Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain over the past few weeks and the rumours only intensified after he was pictured at Argentina’s Copa America group tie against Chile, reportedly alongside the Argentine sharpshooter’s brother, who is also his agent.
Whether Klopp’s presence at the Levi’s Stadium was for business or pleasure remains to be seen, however, it’s fair to say that the Liverpool boss will still strengthen his squad this summer, meaning there will be increased competition for places, especially for his number 15.
Judging by Sturridge’s comments regarding the competition for striking places in the national side, he should be rubbing his hands in anticipation for such a challenge at Anfield next season. Or was he bluffing?
“Competition is fierce at every club you play at as well as at international level,” he said to the Daily Mail. “So for me I’m used to it, I thrive off it and I love it.”
England open their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia on Saturday with Sturridge, amongst others, expected to feature. Impressing the man in the dug-out, when given his chance, will surely be his main objective as doing so could be perfect preparation for what is already a highly anticipated season on Merseyside.
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