Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned of the dangers of expecting too much from young players, citing Raheem Sterling’s experience with the senior England squad as an example, Sky
Sterling was given his senior England debut this time last year, despite being only 17-years-old and with little experience in the Reds first team – making his first real impact on the Premier League that same season. Sterling appeared in a friendly with Sweden and has since dropped back into the England Under-21 side and out of contention at club level.
Rodgers stressed that he was not complaining about Sterling’s involvement with England, nor criticising the player in any way, but had become concerned over the policy of fast-tracking youngsters into the senior set-up. “At that point in time he was one of the best young players in the country and he went into that game and actually did well,” Rodgers said.
“But it is about managing expectations – that is the biggest thing with a young player,” the former Swansea boss continued. “You have to be so careful because there are so many young players in the country who get a cap and then are forgotten about.
“It can cause issues. It hasn’t as such, but I’m talking about young players here and not just Raheem. If they get projected into the international teams too early there can be a misplaced belief that they are considered ‘international players’ when sometimes the circumstances dictate that.”
Sterling has made nine appearances for Liverpool this season, scoring against Notts County in the Capital One Cup win in August. His last involvement at first team level for his club came as a late substitute in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle in mid-October.
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