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‘Injuries preventing Sturridge from being top striker’

INJURY WOE: Sturridge (PA)

ENGLAND AND Liverpool hitman Daniel Sturridge will only become a “top striker” if he overcomes the injury problems that have limited his progress, his club manager Brendan Rodgers has said.

The Reds have struggled up front this season having sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer, while new boy Mario Balotelli has yet to score in the league. Sturridge has been unable to help due to a calf injury, and Rodgers is expecting him to return in the middle of next month.

The 25-year-old has excelled since moving to Merseyside from Chelsea in January 2013 for £12m. However, despite bagging 32 goals in 46 Premier League games for the Reds, injuries have become a frequently occurring issue.

Rodgers said: “He won't become a top European striker until he plays consistently.

“It doesn't matter about potential. You have to play. When Daniel comes back into the team, you will see the confidence because of the movement and the dynamic.

“But he isn't fit and he hasn't been for a long time. We just have to work without him and, while we are doing that stay up and around the top end of the table.”

Liverpool fluffed their lines again over the weekend with a tame 0-0 draw against Hull, further highlighting their goalscoring heartache.

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