Sturridge holds England hope
Daniel Sturridge has declared his ambition to play at international level, whilst also tipping Josh McEachran.
Last Updated: 07/03/11 4:24pm
Daniel Sturridge has declared his ambition to play at international level, whilst also tipping fellow Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran to become a 'huge' player for England.
Fabio Capello appears to be looking towards the next generation after handing Jack Wilshere a full debut in the recent friendly against Denmark and selecting Kyle Walker in the squad.
Teenage midfielder McEachran is regarded as a similarly exciting prospect after making several appearances for the Blues first team this season, and Sturridge has no doubts that he will be a future superstar.
"He's a great friend of mine and I can't talk highly enough of him in every aspect," said Sturridge, who is currently on loan with Bolton.
"But I don't want everyone to put too much pressure on him. He's only 18 and he needs to be given time to grow up and to gain experience.
"He's a fantastic player with unbelievable talent and he's going to be a hugely important player for Chelsea and England in the future."
Emphasis on youth
McEachran has positioned himself at the head of a pack emerging from the Chelsea youth team.
The reigning Premier League champions have been criticised in the past for not putting enough emphasis on nurturing home-grown talent, and Sturridge is thrilled that now appears to be happening.
"That side of the club has come on hugely this year," he said. "One of the main priorities this year was to give young players an opportunity to play in the Premier League and it's fantastic that that's happened."
Sturridge is three years older than McEachran at 21 and has already started to realise his own considerable potential.
A January loan move to the Reebok Stadium has allowed him to get more Premier League experience and he has responded with four goals in his first five matches for the Trotters.
He now hopes to maintain his good form and press for an England place at some point in the future.
"The key thing is to be playing regularly and to give people the chance to see what you can do," said Sturridge.
"Of course I'll try to impress as much as I can. It's always been my dream to play for the England team and hopefully one day my dream will come true."
Asked about the likes of Wilshere and Walker being given chances, Sturridge added: "It's hugely encouraging to see them getting that opportunity; it shows it can be done. Hopefully that'll be the case for me in the future."
Sturridge credits Bolton manager Owen Coyle for helping him to develop, saying: "He's helped me a lot. He's told me just to go out and play my game and enjoy myself, and that's what I've tried to do.
"I've settled in great. I've been made to feel so welcome and I'm just happy to be part of things here and to be playing regular football.
"The main thing for me is to be able to say I've played more regularly and that I've started Premier League games.
"Gaining experience is the most important thing and getting the confidence to know you're good enough to play at this level."