Gareth Southgate has told Daniel Sturridge he could miss out on a place in England’s World Cup squad unless he starts playing more for Liverpool.
With Harry Kane England’s recognised frontman, the battle is on to secure World Cup berths alongside the Tottenham man.
Sturridge came off the bench in Sunday’s 1-0 win in Lithuania, but with Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck injured, the Liverpool man has been warned his place is by no means guaranteed.
Southgate believes that it is impossible to pick Sturridge to start for his country while he isn’t playing for his club, given the competition for places up front.
Southgate said it “would be illogical” not to play Kane right now, but there were others capable of playing in the number nine role.
“He has obviously had a couple of starts, but opportunities have been a bit limited, so very difficult then to start him in an England shirt when that’s the case,” Southgate said about Sturridge.
“I agree it is positioning on the field with Vardy, Kane, [Marcus] Rashford, in particular, where there is probably one of the most intense competitions that we’ve got. Welbeck you could add into that as well.
“That is the challenge, I think Daniel knows that.
“He’s a player who has played an important part earlier in the campaign, he has quality and confidence will come from scoring goals at club level.”