The Chelsea forward was at City as a youth player when Hart was snapped up by then manager Stuart Pearce for just £600,000 from Shrewsbury Town – and Sturridge admits he immediately impressed at Eastlands.
Sturridge, who was speaking in his role as an ambassador for Team Hyundai for Euro 2012, believes Hart – now City and England’s undisputed first choice between the posts – reaped the benefits of training with the likes of David James and Kasper Schmeichel at the Premier League club.
“He [Hart] is fantastic,” said Sturridge. “When he first joined Manchester City, he stepped into the group of young players that were there which included myself, Micah Richards, Kelvin Etuhu, Nedum Onuoha, Stephen Ireland, and all the players that came through the system.
“He just came in and stamped his authority. He was at Shrewsbury before that. [At City] he had competition with David James and Kasper Schmeichel at the time. So there were very good keepers there at the time and I think he learned a lot from David James, because at the time he was England’s No1.
“Hart has gone to another level now and I think everybody knows that with how he’s stepped in. He’s going to be around now for another 10 or 15 years, so who knows what he can be in the future.
“He’s only just started playing regularly over the last couple of years, so in another three or four I can only imagine how good he’ll be. For me, he’s the best keeper in the Premier League and he’s a great player.”
Daniel Sturridge, along with Iker Casillas, Lukas Podolski, Giuseppe Rossi, Karim Benzema, is an ambassador for Team Hyundai, a new initiative for Uefa Euro 2012. Find out more at: facebook.com/Hyundaiworldwide
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