Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is England’s best striker

• Liverpool manager expects Harry Kane to make international impact
• But claims ‘there is not anyone better than Daniel Sturridge’
Rodgers warns Sterling over new contract

Brendan Rodgers has described Daniel Sturridge as England’s finest striker and predicted he will soon be joined in Roy Hodgson’s team by Harry Kane.

Sturridge is in contention to start his first Liverpool game since August when Tottenham Hotspur visit Anfield on Tuesday, a game Rodgers believes will have a major bearing on his side’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League.

Liverpool have won their last three meetings against Spurs 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0 but Rodgers insists Mauricio Pochettino’s team are a different proposition to the one beaten comfortably in Sturridge’s last Premier League start due to the emergence of Kane and Ryan Mason. The Liverpool manager believes England recognition is inevitable for Spurs’ 22-goal forward, but is adamant no homegrown forward compares to Sturridge at present.

Rodgers said: “I’m sure Daniel is happy there’s another English striker coming through because if Harry Kane is going to be of the level to play for England, which I believe he is, then that helps Daniel and the other Liverpool players who play for England because it means you get another top quality striker.

“But for me there’s not anyone better than Daniel Sturridge. There’s no one better. He’s got everything in his game if he’s playing consistently. His goalscoring record, his pace, his power, he’s got everything and as an English striker there’s no one better than him. I’m sure Daniel will look at it that there’s another young English striker coming through and that will really help him when they come together at international level.”

Liverpool will be without the influential Lucas Leiva on Tuesday after the midfielder suffered a thigh injury at Everton. He could be ruled out for an extended period. “He has been very important for us,” rued Rodgers, who is unlikely to ask Emre Can to replace Lucas in midfield due to the German’s commanding form in defence.

Rodgers, who met representatives from the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, at Melwood on Monday, said: “Eventually Emre will play further forward but you have to consider the balance of the team, which is very, very good at the moment.

“It’s four clean sheets at the moment and defensively we have been very strong. With Emre you can see the importance of his role and the position he plays in there. He was immense at the weekend in a real physical game. Why disrupt that to try and fix something that could actually create another problem? The balance of the team is fine at the moment.”


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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