Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Daniel Sturridge has what it takes to become the number one English striker ahead of Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

After being let go by both Manchester City and Chelsea, Sturridge arrived at Anfield in January 2013 and has quickly become a favourite at Merseyside.

The 25-year-old is struggling with injuries this season, but Liverpool recently awarded him a lucrative new deal said to worth £150.000 a week, reward for the 36 goals he has scored in just 52 appearances under Brendan Rodgers.

Gerrard is looking forward to his return to action as he believes Sturridge has the talent to be better than Manchester United star Wayne Rooney and become "Liverpool's iconic No.9" for years to come.

"Ability-wise, Daniel is possibly the No.1 English striker I've played with. When you talk about speed, sharpness and skill and different types of goals, he could go as far as he wants to," Gerrard told Liverpool's official website.

"Who in this country is better? Wayne Rooney is different, between a No.9 and No.10 for me, but Wayne is 29, Daniel is 25. Some of the things he does in training blow me away.

"I knew he was good but I saw what he could do last year. His goal-to-game record is scary. Now it's time for Daniel to be Liverpool's iconic No.9 - the main striker - for many years."