Sturridge has world class potential – ex-Liverpool defender Warnock

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 2018-19
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The 29-year-old "cannot be ignored" when he's on top form, with a former Reds defender praising the attitude of the England forward

Daniel Sturridge could be Liverpool’s secret weapon in the Champions League this season, according to former Reds defender Stephen Warnock, who backed the England forward as a “£50 million player”.

The 29-year-old attacker has endured an injury-hit spell with the Reds and made his Champions League debut for them on Tuesday largely thanks to an eye injury sustained by Roberto Firmino in the win over Tottenham at the weekend.

He was rewarded for his patience as he headed the opening goal from a pinpoint Andy Robertson cross, and Warnock believes he could now get on a run and be a highly effective player for the Anfield side to supplement their star forward trio.

“We are talking about having a £50m player at your disposal because he is potentially a world-class striker,” Warnock told BBC Radio 5

“Of course, it is important that he knows his role at the club because if Liverpool's front three of Sadio Mane, Firmino and Mohamed Salah are in form, they are still going to play most of the games.

“But all players need a rest, especially when you are in Europe and the games come thick and fast, and there are going to be times when Sturridge, and others, will get their chance.”

Warnock believes that knowing his career at Anfield was on the line after a loan spell at West Brom last season was the fuel Sturridge needed to really get going again.

“When you are in that situation as a player, and it looks like your days could be numbered, there is only a way back if you really want it.

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“Having that desire is the big thing that Sturridge demonstrated, long before he scored the opening goal at Anfield on Tuesday.

“In pre-season, when Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wanted to see him fit and hungry, his attitude was exactly right. I watched him a lot and his performances were impressive too.

“That is why Klopp handed him his first start in a Reds shirt since November 2017 because, when you get Daniel fit and firing, you cannot ignore him.”