Michael Owen says Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is one of the few English players who possesses ‘world class’ potential, and believes the winger will go on to become the leading star of the national team.
Sterling, 19, had a breakout season at Anfield last term, scoring nine goals in 33 Premier League appearances to help Liverpool to a second-place finish, before standing out as a lone bright spot during England’s otherwise disappointing World Cup campaign.
Now established as one of the first names on the teamsheet for both his club and the Three Lions, Owen believes the teenager has all the tools to lead England to future tournament success and thinks that the lineup should be built around him going forward.
‘He’s a proper player. I think you look at the England squad and there are always going to be one or two who are head and shoulders above the rest, and he’s one of them,’ he told reporters at the Soccerex convention.
‘There are your superstars in teams and then your players who are steady and reliable in different roles, but I think we can rest our cap on Raheem Sterling being one of the few that you can say are potentially world class.
‘He could take us far in future tournaments. With his age, it’s going to exciting having him around for a long time.’
Having netted twice in Liverpool’s opening three league games, Sterling will be relied upon to provide the goals again on the weekend, with Daniel Sturridge a fitness doubt for their match at home to Aston Villa.