Mario Balotelli-Daniel Sturridge
Mario Balotelli-Daniel SturridgeGetty

Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor believes the return of Daniel Sturridge from injury will help Mario Balotelli to find his form.

The Italian international arrived at Anfield on a £16m deal from AC Milan earlier in the summer transfer window. Since his switch to Merseyside, the former Manchester City striker has scored only one goal in all competitions.

Sturridge and Balotelli were impressive during the Reds' 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur away from home. Since then, the summer signing has struggled while the England international has been out of action with a thigh injury.

Liverpool face Queens Park Rangers in the next league clash and Sturridge, along with Joe Allen and Emre Can could make a return to the first team after spending time on the sidelines.

Mellor says the return of injured players will only improve the squad depth and has backed Sturridge to come good in the upcoming fixtures.

"Mario Balotelli could well benefit from his [Sturridge] return, especially. They did really well together at Spurs but Mario has struggled since," Mellor told the Liverpool Echo.

"We should have Joe Allen, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge all back for the trip to QPR next weekend. That's great if so. It will add depth to the squad, strength to the bench and mean more competition for places."

"With due respect to Joe and Emre, the biggest boost is easily the return of Sturridge. For me he is simply the best English striker in the Premier League. His goal to game stats alone prove that."

"Seeing him back out there just ahead of Real Madrid's visit to Anfield will give us all a huge lift. Fans, team-mates – everyone who wants to see Liverpool back to their best and firing – will welcome the sight of him up front again. And the good news is that, in my belief, he'll return firing on all cylinders."

"Some players understandably take a while to get back to their best after a spell out. But Daniel is different. You can bet he'll be razor sharp and may even have benefited from the rest his injury has provided. He won't need a settling back in period," the former Liverpool striker concluded.