After Daniel Sturridge arrived at Liverpool, we learned three important things about the young English forward. First, his self-centered displays and occasional petulance--especially while at Chelsea--were born more out of lack of opportunity and desire to succeed than out of some wildly problematic selfish streak. Related is the revelation that he's a committed teammate and appears to be an excellent member of the squad; he strikes an enthusiastic, enjoyable figure in training and interviews, and speak only of the squad's success when questioned about personal accolades. The last, potentially more unfortunate bit, that we've learned is that his problems with fitness seem set to make or break him for club and country.
That was the case for the former during a short spell after arriving in January of this year, and while his form improved along with his physical health as spring progressed, injury again got in the way, this time as he appeared on the cusp of finally making his breakthrough for an England squad desperately in need of a confident forward who could get goals. Sturridge had done that in bunches during the second half of the league season at Liverpool, and while the summer could have seen him more established for the national side, it was instead spent rehabbing yet again.
Fitness woes chased him into the start of the Premier League campaign, and while he's yet to miss a minute under Brendan Rodgers, another knock kept him out of the England reckoning during their September World Cup qualifiers. So now, at the third time of asking, Daniel Sturridge finally is set to deliver as he, along with Steven Gerrard, gets a call-up for England's crucial qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. Sturridge joins Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Rickie Lambert, and Danny Welbeck as part of Roy Hodgson's attacking contingent.
His call comes on a day when Raheem Sterling and Jack Robinson (on loan at Blackpool) were drafted into England's U21s for Euro qualifiers against San Marino and Lithuania, with Andre Wisdom--who had been named captain by new manager Gareth Southgate--ruled out for five matches after a red card against Finland.
All eyes will be on Sturridge, though, and many will be hopeful that he's finally able to find a run of form and fitness for an extended period of time. We're looking for the benefits of both at Liverpool, but if he's getting an England call-up more regularly, that means he's both playing well and staying fit, and that's a good thing for everyone.