Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he plans to nurture the development of Raheem Sterling as the youngster continues to impress both for club and country, according to the club’s official
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise to stardom over the past year that has seen him grow from promising youngster to one of the first names on Rodger’s team sheet – and has started this season with a string of fine performances, including two goals in the first three games.
Last season’s form culminated in a call up to England’s World Cup squad, and more recently the youngster shone during the country’s 2-0 win in Switzerland on Monday.
Rodgers has expressed his delight at the player showing his natural ability with outstanding performances but also realises the need to protect the player from inflating expectations.
The Liverpool boss said: “He’s just taking it all in his stride. He’s a very mature boy. He’s a good kid who has grown up very quickly in the last two years.
“He’s very grounded. His talent is doing all the talking for him. He’s in a really exciting time at this club and in an exciting team.
“It’s our job here to protect him as we want him to still be playing at the top of his game when he gets to his peak years between 28 and 31.
“In terms of where he’s at, we just need to be careful. Raheem will make mistakes, he will have bad games, but he will also have outstanding games.”
Rodgers also revealed how he planned to use Sterling in a number of forward positions to improve his intelligence of the game – something that can be seen with the player now occupying a central role instead of out wide.
“When I first had Raheem a couple of years ago, he was an out and out winger.
“As his game has developed he’s played across the front line in a lot of different systems. I’ve done it all my life with young players, playing them in different positions to see if they can improve their game intelligence.
“We’ve seen him playing at the top of the diamond or in that No.10 role. His football brain is improving all the time. He can play one touch, two touch and he also works tirelessly for the team.”
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