English Premiership

Klopp: Sturridge needs the goals

Jordan Henderson with Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge (Supplied)
Jordan Henderson with Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge (Supplied)

Birmingham - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed Daniel Sturridge after he set his side up for a 6-0 victory at Aston Villa in his first Premier League start for the German.

England striker Sturridge started in the league for the first time since October after a series of injury setbacks and scored the opening goal in Liverpool's rout of Villa on Sunday.

Now Klopp hopes for an injury-free run for the 26-year-old, whose all-round game impressed his manager more than his headed goal in the 16th minute.

"Of course we need the goals of Daniel and he needs the goals, that's clear," said Klopp.

"It's not a surprise that he scores goals, but it surprised me how good he is with the team and his movement. He is a real striker.

"It is good to see him fit and when he hides himself on the pitch he is really difficult to defend against because he is always somewhere and you don't know his next move.

"For us this is very important and changes a lot of things of course, but we can only speak about this when he is available.

"When he's not we cannot say, 'But with Daniel it would have been different.' In this game it was brilliant."

Sturridge returned to the scoresheet on the same day that his England team-mate Danny Welbeck made his comeback for Arsenal and scored the winner against Leicester City.

Both men are eyeing a place in England's squad for Euro 2016 in France.

"It's great," said Sturridge. "'Welbz' is a good friend of mine and he's feeling good. I spoke to him the other day and it's good to see him back.

"Hopefully we will be there in the summer and we can help the country have some success."