Roy Hodgson has heaped praise on Daniel Sturridge ahead of England’s final group stage clash with Slovakia, highlighting the quality he has and revealing how pleased he is that he kept faith with the injury prone Liverpool star, as reported by the Echo.
There were real question marks over whether Sturridge should even be in the 23 man England squad for the Euro 2016 Championships, with his recent – and long-term – injury record as well as the competition for positions making it a valid argument. When fully fit and on form he’s arguably the best striker England have though, and he showed his quality with the last gasp winning goal over Wales in the Three Lions’ last game.
The goal combined with the poor displays of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane may well have put him in line for a start against Slovakia, and Hodgson’s praise certainly suggests he’s considering it.
“He’s a special player, there’s no doubt about that,” Hodgson said.
“Since he’s got back from that injury situation, he did have a very settled period of play when he played on a regular basis and he just picked up that injury in the Europa League final.
“But I’m pleased for him because he had that injury, there was speculation, and questions if he was the right player to be in the 23, should he go and I’m delighted that I showed confidence in him because he’s not let me down very often.”
After his performance against Wales it would be a huge mistake for Hodgson not to start Sturridge, as the selfish streak in the 26-year-old makes him a valuable asset. Kane is in really poor form at the moment (why on earth is he taking free-kicks and corners?) and doesn’t look sharp at all, and there isn’t enough of a goal threat spread throughout the rest of the team to keep both Sterling and Lallana on the wings either side of a misfiring Kane.
Liverpool transfer news
Both Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge could be in with a chance of starting the next game, and it would be a huge surprise not to see at least one of them.