Daniel Sturridge Must Seize His Chance for England
Suddenly, England has an abundance of strikers.
Only two months ago, the call-up of Rickie Lambert was brandished as depressing evidence of the paucity of England’s striking stocks, but now, the current squad contains five strikers—all in rich form.
This season, Wayne Rooney has shrugged off his summer of discontent to so far score five goals for Manchester United, Jermain Defoe has scored seven goals in nine games for Tottenham, Danny Welbeck has already passed his goals total from the whole of last season and Lambert has surprised many by prospering as an international.
But the England striker in the best form is Daniel Sturridge.
This season, the Liverpool striker has continued his prolific form from last year and has evolved from a promising but frustrating young talent into an accomplished Premier League player.
He showed glimpses of what he could do at Stamford Bridge and also during a loan spell at Bolton in which he scored eight goals in 12 games, but Sturridge was never fully trusted by a succession of Chelsea managers and remained a study in unfulfilled potential.
Since arriving at Liverpool in January this year for what now appears to be an almost bargain transfer fee of £12 million, Sturridge has finally been transformed into the player he was always destined to become; sharp, quick, inventive and a consistent scorer of goals.
In his first 25 games for the Anfield side, Sturridge has already scored 19 goals, but even more encouragingly, he has proven to be more than just a goal scorer and in recent weeks has also turned provider for the returning Luis Suarez.
The next challenge for Sturridge is to repeat this form for England.
Sturridge has so far won six caps but only started one of those games against the Republic of Ireland back in May.
If he is used as an out-and-out striker and not shunted onto the flanks, Sturridge could become a fine international player.
In the forthcoming games against Montenegro and Poland, the England manager Roy Hodgson must be tempted to pair the in-form Sturridge with Wayne Rooney.
Rooney could revert to the No. 10 role with Sturridge in front of him as a classic centre-forward.
At Liverpool, Suarez likes to drop deep giving Sturridge space to run into, and Rooney has the intelligence to fulfill that same role.
If managed well, a Sturridge-Rooney strike partnership has the potential of turning a stuttering England side in to a very good international outfit just in time for next year’s World Cup finals.
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