What are the reasons behind Raheem Sterling's improvement at Liverpool this season?

Raheem Sterling Liverpool

Glen Johnson has been singing the praises of the 19-year-old.

Glen Johnson has said that Raheem Sterling has become one of the most important players in the Liverpool squad this season.

Sterling seems to have become more important since he made his first start of the league season in the 3-1 loss to Hull City, and kept his place in the next game – a 5-1 win over Norwich City – and managed to get on the scoresheet.

Ever since the winger has received his second England cap in the 1-0 win over Denmark – where he also picked up the man of the match award – and has scored a total of six Premier League goals this season.

Johnson told the Liverpool website: "When he first burst onto the scene, everyone could see how good he could be.

"I know he had a couple of months where he wasn't in the team as much as he would have liked, but I think he has bounced back better for that.

"At the moment, he's probably one of the first names on the teamsheet."

Johnson mentions that he spent a bit of time out of his side, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for the 19-year-old.

Last season, because he burst onto the scene as such an exciting player, there seemed as if there was a great deal of expectancy upon his shoulders.

Having spent a spell on the sidelines, Brendan Rodgers seemed to take a degree expectancy out of the equation.

Sterling has evidently worked on certain aspects of his game. He’s developed a great deal of strength and his end product has sharpened significantly. The rashness has also been cut out of his game where he could give away stupid fouls when Liverpool had the opposition under pressure, which in turn has led to his decision making improving.

Overall he has matured significantly which has contributed to him becoming a better player. If the break from European competition may have aided anybody’s development it may have been Sterling’s. Also the fact that Liverpool have been winning regularly will have done wonders for him given that, again, there will have been less expectation placed on him.

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