Rodgers: Sturridge is already showing his class

Sturridge now has two goals in as many appearances since joining Liverpool. Photo: PA

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes new £12million signing Daniel Sturridge has already shown a glimpse of what he will offer the side in the future.

The 23-year-old came off the bench at Old Trafford yesterday to re-invigorate a lacklustre performance and he scored his second in as many matches since arriving from Chelsea, also missing the chance to snatch a late equaliser.

Prior to his introduction at half-time, Liverpool had endured a dismal time in which they showed none of the fight or quality required in a game against their arch-rivals, as United eased into a 2-0 lead through Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic.

But Sturridge's goal, following in a Steven Gerrard shot which David de Gea could only parry, lifted the side and also displayed a predatory instinct the Reds have been lacking for 18 months.

"I just think this is a boy who can be a real top striker in this country and I think he will be scoring many goals for Liverpool," said Rodgers.

"You have seen from a half appearance yesterday and 55 last weekend (when he scored on his debut against Mansfield in the FA Cup) that this boy is a goalscorer and what he needed was an opportunity.

"He got one goal (against United) and was unlucky with a couple of opportunities. He is going to be a terrific signing for us."

Rodgers insists he does not regret not starting with the striker, whose two appearances for the Merseysiders (totalling 100 minutes) were his first since November 17.

"I have been assessing him in training and he is coming back," he added.

"If I thought he could have lasted the game I would have put him in.

"Sometimes you can rush them back too quickly and break them and I didn't want to do that.

"He is certainly getting there with his work-rate every day. It is just a case of building him into it.

"We had won seven out of our last seven games so the team and some of the players had been doing well and it is just the feeling you get.

"I felt at the start we needed to make sure we stayed solid and tight while still creating chances and once the game opened up a bit Daniel could come on and affect the game with his pace and power.

"I thought he was terrific in the second half."