The Arsenal winger suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in an FA Cup tie against Spurs earlier this month, and will subsequently miss the rest of the season – and England's World Cup campaign. Whilst the Gunners are having to come to terms with the news that Walcott will miss around six months of action, Gerrard has been thinking of how his absence will affect the England team, who travel to Brazil in five months.
After witnessing another impressive display from team mate Sterling in Liverpool's 5-3 win over Stoke City on Sunday, Gerrard suggested that Sterling should be in the mix to replace Walcott. The 19 year old already has one England cap to his name after featuring against Sweden in November 2012, and Gerrard noted that the former QPR man has the pace to replicate what Walcott can do.
"I said to Raheem after the game: 'You keep your performance at that level and you are going to make it very difficult for Roy Hodgson not to take you.' Hopefully he can build on the confidence from his recent performances and finish the season really strongly." said Gerrard.
"He's in top form at a fantastic time." he added. "I'm obviously very disappointed for Theo with his injury but I'm sure Roy Hodgson is looking out for who is going to replace him and Raheem's performances of late have been sensational. There's many candidates - Aaron Lennon is playing well, Andros Townsend, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back. But if you are looking at like for like, pace and threat down the wing, someone who can make, score and create, then Raheem has got a fantastic chance."
Of the three players that Gerrard also mentioned, Sterling is in the best form having hit three Premier League goals in just 14 games this season, and with Victor Moses struggling to make an impact at Anfield since his loan move from Chelsea, the path is clear for Sterling to kick on in the second half of the season and force his way back into Roy Hodgson's plans, as the former Reds boss looks to put together a squad that can bring glory back to England.
image: © kong niffe