By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Daniel Sturridge is the “most gifted” of the six strikers competing for a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
That is the verdict of TV pundit Jamie Redknapp as Sturridge prepares to spearhead the attack for Roy Hodgson’s team in Tuesday’s clash against Holland at Wembley.
The Liverpool striker has barely played for his club in the last two seasons due to injury and will be making his first appearance for the national side since 2014.
But former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Redknapp is convinced that no other English striker – including Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott – can match the natural ability of the 26-year-old.
“Of the current group of strikers, Sturridge is probably the most naturally gifted,” wrote Redknapp in his Mail column. “He is a unique talent. His feet are so fast and he can do amazing things with a football.
“The trouble is, as we all know, his fitness. If he’s fit then there’s no question that he has to go to the Euros.”
Sturridge has made only 14 appearances for Liverpool this season but he has still weighed in with seven goals and demonstrated that injuries have not robbed him of his clinical qualities.
His four Premier League strikes lag way behind Kane (21), Vardy (19) and even Rooney (seven), and Redknapp recognises that Sturridge has some way to go to displace the Spurs man from the England team.
The pundit explained: “If you were picking a team today for the opening game of the Euros, then Kane is ahead of Sturridge, no doubt about it.
“In terms of leading the line you can play direct to Kane, play it into feet, and he’s very comfortable on the ball.
“He’s also taking advantage of that almost telepathic link he has with his clubmate Dele Alli.”
In other Liverpool news, an in-form central midfielder has dropped a thinly-veiled hint that he could make a summer move to Anfield.