Craig Bellamy tips Raheem Sterling for top, if he stays at Liverpool

Former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy believes Raheem Sterling can become 'one of the best players in the world' if he stays at Anfield.

Craig Bellamy knows a thing or two about pacey forwards, having been one himself.

He also knows all about the pressures of competing for Liverpool, with the former Wales international taking in two spells at Anfield during his playing days.

Among those currently on the books on Merseyside, he believes one is destined to outshine the others.

Raheem Sterling is still only 20 years of age, despite being in his fourth season as part of the RedsPremier League set-up and boasting 13 senior England caps to his name.

It is easy to forget that he still has a lot to learn and remains a raw talent finding his way at the very highest level.

Bellamy, though, is convinced that Sterling is destined to become a global superstar.

He has, however, warned the youngster that he needs stability and focus, with it important for him to remain with Liverpool amid talk of a breakdown in contract extension talks and reports of interest from the likes of Real Madrid.

Bellamy told Sky Sports: “His age and how tactically aware of where he is on the pitch, his strength, his speed, he has so many good strengths for someone who is so young. I feel like this kid is the real deal, I really do.

“At such a young age, I feel that in the next few years this boy is going to be a real talent and one of the best players in the world.

“I am a huge, huge fan of his and I feel this is the best place for him. I feel, the next few years, this is the best place for him and we’ll see where his career goes from there.”

Sterling is said to have snubbed an initial offer of fresh terms at Anfield, leaving them sweating on his future.

He did, however, pen a five-year deal in 2012 so is tied to the Reds until 2017.

Liverpool may have to dig a little deeper, though, if they are to see him commit to them long-term and bring an end to the rumours suggesting that he could soon be lured away by one of world football’s biggest clubs.

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