Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Daniel Sturridge is at “the highest level” after the striker helped fire the Reds past Villarreal on Thursday night.
Sturridge, who was left out of the Europa League semi-final, first leg tie last week, scored his 12th goal of the season after earlier pressuring Bruno Soriano into an seventh-minute own goal as Liverpool cruised into the Basel final – winning 3-1 on aggregate.
Sturridge, 26, has only made 10 Premier League starts after an injury-plagued season at Anfield and Klopp was pondering whether or not to start him in Thursday’s second leg against the Yellow Submarine at Anfield.
The German coach decided to go with Sturridge, who last week admitted he wanted more game time, from the off and he responded with a fine display and Klopp believes the England frontman is at his pinnacle.
“Daniel is now at the highest level. It’s perfect news for England and the Euros,” said Klopp.
Klopp said he was delighted with the performance and result against Villarreal, who had kept three consecutive clean sheets and have only conceded 31 La Liga goals all season.
“It’s all about training, improvement and development. I am really pleased for them.
“It’s deserved. They try to change,” added Klopp.
Klopp also emphasised the team togetherness after the Reds fought back from 1-0 in the first leg.
“There is something in this team. The Europa League has been special. It’s knockout.
“I am a really nice guy but if you complain in the wrong moment you will have a problem with me.
“It’s all about the team.”
Klopp admitted that he will tinker with his side for Sunday’s Premier League date with Watford at Anfield, but he will not make wholesale changes.
“I’ve only has a few secs to think about a line up for Sunday. There will be a few changes for sure but we’ll try everything to win,” said the 48-year-old.