This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told talkSPORT that Reds striker Daniel Sturridge has the talent to become one of the leading goalscorers in the Premier League.
The England international netted his second goal in as many games as the Reds continued their fine start to the season with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Liverpool looked a more dangerous side following Sturridge's January arrival at Anfield, with his instant partnership with prolific forward Luis Suarez helping the team end the season in seventh after they looked destined for a mid-table finish.
The England forward amassed an impressive 11 goals in 16 appearances for the Reds last season since his £12m switch from Chelsea.
And Rodgers believes he can continue his fine form and develop into one of Liverpool and England's most important frontmen.
"You've seen how Daniel Sturridge is going to be one of the top forwards in the Premier League," the Liverpool boss told Stan on Call Collymore.
"He's a top, top striker, we've got one of the top British strikers here.
"He's been absolutely fantastic since he came in over January, his goals-to-game record is fantastic, and I think all he needed [to perform] was confidence."
After joining Manchester City aged 13, Sturridge was unable to work his way into their pricey squad and faced a similar problem when he moved to Chelsea in search of first-team football.
And Rodgers believes a young player's progression is often hampered by a big-money move, with the Reds boss adding that all a player of Sturridge's stature needs is a break to prove their talent.
"Daniel's been unfortunate in the past, he was a brilliant young player," the Northern Irishman said.
"I remember seeing him play as a 14-year-old at Manchester City and he was probably one of the best number nine's in Europe for his age.
"When he thought he was probably going to get a chance, that's when City's money came in.
"There's a danger in this country that we're paying young players to fail. They're often offered a contract before they're ready, and all of a sudden they've got all this money but it doesn't make them happy.
"With Daniel, he'd obviously been a two big clubs but just needed an opportunity. Now he's here, he knew he was coming to a massive club and he's getting the reward for his hard work."