In Depth

Sturridge ahead of Rooney, Kane and Vardy in Euro 2016 race

The Liverpool striker is only an hour into his comeback but has been touted as England's saviour

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge made his long-awaited return from injury against West Ham in the FA Cup on Tuesday and has been hailed as a tonic for his club and country - even though the Reds lost and he failed to score.

With Euro 2016 four months away and the injury-prone striker just an hour into his comeback, former England managerial candidate Harry Redknapp is calling for Sturridge to be installed as Roy Hodgson's main man.

"Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have had fine seasons for their clubs but if Daniel Sturridge can get himself fit again, he has to lead England’s attack," he writes in the Evening Standard.

"He is that good. In all honesty, he is probably England’s best player. He is a matchwinner and sometimes he does things that you see only Lionel Messi and Neymar do."

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers agrees and claimed this week that a fit Sturridge should be ahead of Vardy, Kane and even Wayne Rooney in the England pecking order.

"He has genuine world class ability. When fit, there's not too many better than him," he said, according to the Daily Mirror.

Sturridge can match the finishing, pace and temperament of his three rivals, he adds. "It is hard to rule out Daniel because he offers so much. He can score a goal in a flash and has got all the attributes."

That is bad news for the current England forwards, says Michael Owen, who describes Sturridge as their "fly in the ointment".

However, the former player also touched on Sturridge's Achilles heel. "He held the [England] shirt before he got injured, so he would be right in amongst it," said Owen, as reported in the Daily Express. "But he is running out of time and, with a dozen games left, if he got injured between now and the end of the season, you would have to say it is not going to happen."

He also urged Liverpool to be more open about Sturridge's injuries. The lack of information about his condition has been "fuelling a lot of rumours", he said. "People are saying things that are potentially unfair."

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