Rodgers - Sturridge can be world class

Brendan Rodgers addressed the media ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday evening.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that Daniel Sturridge has the opportunity to become world class at Anfield.

Sturridge has scored ten goals so far this season for Liverpool, including off the bench in last weekend’s 5-3 win over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Premier League clash with Aston Villa, Rodgers said: ‘My opinion on Daniel has only been reinforced by the time I’ve been working with him and that overall he’s got a wonderful opportunity in the next couple of years of being world class. He has every tool, he has every quality to be a world class striker similar to what Luis Suarez is.

‘If we just get him on to the field on a regular basis, he gets a bit of luck and he stays clear of injury and he can be that for sure.’

Rodgers praised his side’s mental toughness against Stoke and was glad to be able to call on Sturridge to help Liverpool get over the line and keep themselves in the top four.

‘I think what was really good about last weekend was that I could affect the game from the bench. That was something that I thought was very important last week that we had someone of that talent sat on the bench that could come on and allow us to change the nature of our game.’

Joe Allen has returned to training this week after recovering from an adductor injury, whilst defender Mamadou Sakho will be assessed over the next 24 hours for the game against Villa, which will be watched by the club’s owners, who Rodgers spoke highly of and said there was no specific reason for the visit.

‘They’ve brought really strong leadership and vision which is important they took over a club that was in disarray in terms of ownership and stability.

‘We have regular contact anyway so it’s nothing other than them coming over and seeing and looking at the development of the club.’

In terms of transfer activity, the Liverpool boss said there was nothing to report in terms of players arriving at Anfield, though the club are looking to send Tiago Ilori, who has attracted interest from Spain, out on loan. The Reds boss hinted that Jordon Ibe could also be sent out on loan in the future.

The Liverpool manager was also asked about whether he thought Liverpool were still in the title race. The Reds currently sit six points off top of the table Arsenal, with Manchester City and Chelsea closely pursuing them, but Rodgers said he feels his side is in the picture.

‘We’ve got all those teams to play at home, and if you’re only six point off the lead you have to feel that you are.

‘People will talk about the three clubs in front of us of course because their squads have been around that for the last few years.

For us it’s just a case of continually improving and working and trying to fight to be up there. As I said it’s very, very close. I think since Christmas Day it’s changed quite a few times the lead, and I think it will continue to.’

image: © kuaver

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