Rodgers backs Sterling to shine for England

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects England youngster Raheem Sterling to be a Three Lions great.

The 19-year-old winger has been in fine form for the Reds this term after an initially impressive first season that saw his attitude called into question by the manager.

Sterling has scored five goals and made five assists in 22 appearances in the Premier League this term and it’s no surprise to the manager he has been called up to the England squad that faces Denmark in a friendly this week by national team boss Roy Hodgson.

"I just think that a year or so down the line from his first cap, England will be seeing a player with much greater maturity and a young player who has produced in big games," Rodgers said.

"He's a kid who's just turned 19 but he's a father now, that brings maturity into your life and he's coping with that remarkably well.

"You see a young player who's getting stronger and stronger every day; a young player who, tactically, has improved his level impressively," he added.

Rodgers gave the youngster his opportunity to make his breakthrough to the first team last term at Anfield and he showed great promise but his maturity and discipline left some room for improvement. This term he seems to have done just that – he has been committed and focused and has been more of a team player rather than an individual trying to prove himself.

It remains to be seen whether Sterling makes it to Brazil for the World Cup this summer with competition in his position from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha but in his current vein of form and with the progress he has made under Brendan Rodgers, he will surely be in the optimum position to stake his claim for a seat on the flight to Brazil.

image: © bernard-chan

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