Raheem Sterling enjoyed a breakthrough season in the 2013-14 campaign, and the Liverpool teenager has picked up where he left off in May.
On Sunday, the England international winger was the best attacking player on the pitch at Anfield, as he played a pivotal role in leading the Reds to victory over Southampton in their opening game of the Premier League campaign.
The 19-year-old was involved in both of Liverpool’s goals against the Saints, scoring the first with a close-range effort midway through the first half and then setting up striker Daniel Sturridge 11 minutes from time for the winner.
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Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton was impressed with Sterling’s display against Southampton and backed the youngster to be a key player for the Merseyside outfit this season.
‘He (Sterling) showed signs he‘s going to be a real threat’, the 52-year-old told talkSPORT. ‘I think he’s going have a fantastic season. He’s got real ability, he’s really settled down now and he’s understanding his position in the side.
‘I think he’s going to be there week in, week out, he’s not going to be just a bit part player for them, he’s going to be a main player for them. I think that’s going to be very important for Liverpool’.
Sterling is one of the most promising teenagers in the world and got international exposure with England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil earlier this summer.
Blessed with pace and skill, the youngster has also shown maturity in the past few months and was an important player in Liverpool’s second-place finish in the Premier League last season.
This term Sterling will have to take extra responsibility due to the departure of star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona. On the basis of his performance on Sunday, it does look that he is up for the challenge.