Liverpool winger Sterling to play for England U-19s after Rodgers intervention

Raheem Sterling will not make his debut for England U-21s after his club manager, Brendan Rodgers, persuaded the Football Association that the Liverpool winger would be better served in a lower age bracket, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

Sterling will duly play for the England U-19 side against Germany on Thursday, instead of lining up with the U-21s against Azerbaijan. The 17-year-old Sterling has started three times for Liverpool but this season – described by the Telegraph as a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming opening – but Rodgers was keen to avoid pushing the youngster too far, too soon.

Rodgers added: “It might look great on the back pages that he (Sterling) is involved in the Under-21s, but the reality is that this is a kid who has made great strides over the last few weeks.

The manager spoke with Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s director of football development, and Stuart Pearce, the Coach of the U-21 side, to make his case, which was accepted by the members of the England set-up.

Rodgers added that the decision to use Sterling in a younger-age team means that after his starting role against Arsenal on Sunday and the England U-19 match on Thursday, he will have more time to recuperate and potentially be ready for Liverpool’s next domestic fixture.

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