LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Daniel Sturridge laughs during England Training at Wembley Stadium on February 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Daniel Sturridge has been green-lighted to play for the UK's Olympics team this summer after suffering a bout of viral meningitis last month. There had been some worry that Sturridge would be unable to participate, but despite not featuring during Stuart Pearce's first warm-up friendly (a 1-0 loss to Mexico in which Ryan Bertrand started), the Daily Mail is reporting that he'll join up with the team on Monday and is expected to play in the friendly against Brazil later in the week.
This is good news for Sturridge, who's in the enviable position of being the top dog in a very weak batch of centre forwards. With Bolton Wanderers striker Marvin Sordell his only real competition to start up top, Sturridge now has the chance to demonstrate to Chelsea -- or his supposed other suitors -- that he can actually lead a line on his own right rather than just serve as a right winger, a position he doesn't enjoy playing.
His performances at the Olympics, then, are something to keep a close eye on. I know that the British don't tend to take Olympic football particularly seriously, but there are some good teams involved this year and Sturridge will be against fairly solid competition. If he does manage to hold his own at the games, he becomes a viable backup to Fernando Torres, something we may well need next year.