Gerrard admits surprise at quality of Liverpool and England teammate Sturridge

Steven Gerrard has revealed that he did not expect so much from Daniel Sturridge before the England striker joined Liverpool in January, the Daily Telegraph has reported, and Gerrard also backed Sturridge to score the goals for England at next year’s World Cup.

Sturridge has 16 goals in 21 Premier League games for Liverpool, having swapped Stamford Bridge for Anfield in the winter transfer window earlier this year. He was absent as England drew 0-0 with Ukraine in September but is expected to start alongside Wayne Rooney as the Three Lions host Montenegro on Friday.

Gerrard points to the confidence imparted by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as a key reason in Sturridge’s form for club and country. “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 said.

He’s even better than I thought he was. He’s different: razor sharp, great technique and can score any kind of goal,” the Liverpool and England captain continued. “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.

Sturridge started his youth career at Aston Villa and Coventry City before moving to Manchester City. He struggled to break into the team at the Etihad Stadium, however, and departed for Chelsea in 2009, spending time on loan at Bolton Wanderers while a Chelsea player.

The 24-year-old scored 15 goals in 55 games for Chelsea but mostly appeared as a substitute, with Liverpool paying their Premier League rivals £12m for Sturridge’s services.

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