England manager Roy Hodgson named his 23-man squad for the tournament this summer earlier this week and his decision caused plenty of debate.
Liverpool striker Sturridge is among those heading to France, despite there being serious questions about his fitness in the last week.
Some consider his inclusion as a risk for England manager Roy Hodgson, but Keown insists that it would have been a bigger risk to leave him out given the quality he offers.
“It is more of a gamble to not have him in the group,” he told the Daily Mail.
“He is the player you can turn to in a difficult moment to do something out of nothing and score a wonderful goal. His sublime strike against Sevilla in the Europa League final was a piece of magic.”
It will now be interesting to see how much game time Sturridge is afforded in the tournament given England’s striking options.
Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are arguably the first choice duo, while the form of Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford cannot be ignored, especially after his goal-scoring debut against Australia.
Indeed, the Liverpool man may find himself on the bench for much of his time in France considering the players currently ahead of him in the squad.
With his fitness record though, that could be a blessing in disguise, with England sure to be hoping that he can play the role of super sub.