Not too long ago, Daniel Sturridge was England's clear cut first-choice striker. But injuries have kept him out of the team for over a year, and now, with the emergence of Harry Kane and doubt over his ability to stay healthy, his role is in jeopardy, according to manager Roy Hodgson.
"I would like him with us in November. I have told Daniel that. It's no secret," said Hodgson in preparation for a stretch where England will play Spain and France in quick succession. "We are counting on him getting fit, getting his matches, getting some goals hopefully and be here in November."
Hodgson left the door open for Sturridge to regain his starting role, but said that he has to prove himself once more. "I think it would be ridiculous to say at the moment that anyone is a number one and for Daniel, we haven't seen him for well over a year," he said. "I am not prepared at the moment to say Daniel is number one, or (Wayne) Rooney is number one or Kane is number one. Everyone is in competition."
"I am delighted Daniel Sturridge is back playing but I know and he knows and Liverpool knows there is a bit of work for him to do because he has been out for such a long time."
A healthy Sturridge is better than anything else England have at striker, but it's reasonable for Hodgson to be wary of his health. Liverpool fans won't mind Hodgson's hesitancy, as the less Sturridge plays in meaningless international games the better, at least as far as the club is concerned.