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Sturridge can be 'exceptional talent'

Daniel Sturridge has been tipped to become one of the Premier League's most potent strikers by former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

Sturridge led the line for England in their opening European Under-21 Championship match against Spain on Sunday. Strike partner Danny Welbeck scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw, but Sturridge showed plenty of class at the top end of the pitch.

The Chelsea forward will need to have a big tournament if England are to go one better than their defeat in the final of the last competition, and once Sturridge returns to his club Wilkins cannot see him leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.

A loan spell at Bolton yielded eight goals in 12 games last season, but Sturridge will face a fight to get into the Chelsea first team following the signing of £50 million Fernando Torres. Wilkins, though, is adamant the youngster's class will prevail.

"He's an enormously talented guy, he's extremely quick and I've seen him rip the Chelsea senior players to pieces in training but that has obviously got to be translated on to the Saturday afternoon," Wilkins told talkSPORT's All Sports show.

"Unfortunately at Chelsea it didn't quite happen on the Saturday's for Daniel but going to Bolton where there was slightly less pressure he flourished and played some excellent football.

"He's still only a young man. I honestly believe Daniel can be anything Daniel wants to be if he's prepared to give the blast. I think he could be an exceptional talent."

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