Cape Town - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Daniel Sturridge will go on to become an Anfield legend in the iconic number 9 jersey.
Daniel Sturridge, who has not featured for the Reds since August 31, has received glowing praise from his Liverpool captain despite a delayed absence on the sidelines this season.
The young English striker suffered a thigh injury and then, as he neared a comeback earlier this month, was set back by a calf problem, denying Liverpool the services of a striker whose Anfield record shows he has scored 36 goals in 52 games.
Gerrard cannot wait to welcome the Englishman back to duty, not least because he considers his colleague to be among the very best produced by his country in recent years.
"Ability-wise, Daniel is possibly the No.1 English striker I've played with," Gerrard is quoted as saying by the club's website.
"When you talk about speed, sharpness and skill and different types of goals, he could go as far as he wants to.
"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 for Daniel to be Liverpool's iconic No. 9 - the main striker - for many years."
Liverpool, without the mercurial Sturridge, travel to St James' Park to face an in-form Newcastle side on Saturday in the English Premiership's first game of week 10.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool gets underway at 14:45.