Rodgers: Sturridge benefiting from playing time at Liverpool

The Reds' manager believes the striker has benefited from consistent selection at Anfield after scoring two goals in two matches, and insists he has the talent to star for England
Brendan Rodgers insists regular football is responsible for striker Daniel Sturridge’s excellent form after he netted his second goal of the season for Liverpool in Saturday’s 1-0 away win against Aston Villa.

Sturridge also struck the only goal of the game in the season’s opener at home to Stoke, after starting as the Reds’ central striker amid speculation over Luis Suarez’s future at Anfield.

And Rodgers believes the improvement in the 23-year-old is a direct result of more first-team action - something he was denied at Manchester City and Chelsea.

12/1 Daniel Sturridge is 12/1 with BetVictor to be Premier League top scorer
"It was a terrific goal, good finish, good composure and another excellent performance from him," Rodgers told reporters after Sturridge's match-winning display against Villa.

"He was at a great club in Manchester City and having come through the system, all the money poured in and there was no opportunity for him.

"So he made the move to Chelsea in the belief that was going to change but he had senior players like Didier Drogba in front of him. Also, when he did play it was in a wide area. He’s a No 9.

"At his other clubs, he was a young player among superstars and you are fighting for your place in the hierarchy. Here, he’s comfortable. He has the confidence of a manager who has always believed in him.

"He can move, he can sprint. He’s a really good footballer as well, not just a goalscorer. You see his movement, his touch.

"Strikers are judged on goals and his record is very good. He’s got a lot more to do, but there’s no question he’s potentially the top English striker. He has the tools to be that.

"As long as he continues, he’s a big threat for any team. You look at what he has — with his physique, pace and power, you think he is Brazilian. England are fortunate to have him as he’s a big talent. I’ve no doubt he will be a massive asset for England."

Sturridge agreed with his manager’s assessment and revealed he hopes to maintain his form and feature for the Three Lions in the 2014 World Cup.

"I’ve probably matured in terms of my confidence and I’m playing at ease with the first team because in the past I’ve not played at centre forward as much as I’d have liked to," he added.

"This is just how I’ve been since I was a kid. Now I’ve been given the chance. The ideal situation is to keep winning games and, if I’m on the scoresheet, brilliant.

"I want to make the England team for the World Cup. It’s every player’s dream and something I’m aiming for."