Gary Neville impressed by progress of three Liverpool players

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has praised three Liverpool players.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has praised the progress of three Liverpool stars for the way they have kicked on in the past season and a half.

Neville was speaking to the FA's website in his capacity as England assistant coach, discussing the need to be patient with players and the way they must be allowed to develop into top stars.

He picked out the Reds trio as a leading example of players whose rise to the top is exactly what the Three Lions consider success.

He said: "It’s naive to think that people won’t step up to the plate. In the last 12 to 18 months, look at the way Jordan Henderson has emerged as someone who is now wearing the captain’s armband at Liverpool.

“Or the way Raheem Sterling has matured into the player he is. Daniel Sturridge since his move to Liverpool two years ago – he missed out on the Euro 2012 squad but now he is a real top striker."

Neville's former manager Sir Alex Ferguson famously criticised Henderson in his autobiography, words the midfielder told The Mirror helped make his successful season a year ago even more of a personal achievement.

Henderson is an example of a player who was talked up by the media, and his former club Sunderland, before moving to Liverpool for a big fee, and then his immediate failure to justify it being used as a talking point to knock him down.

Sturridge himself had to push to move on from Manchester City and then Chelsea, where he either was not getting regular football at all, or was being played out of position, while Brendan Rodgers took Raheem Sterling out of the first team for the second half of his first season at the club to prevent burnout.

The big hope is that Jordon Ibe will be able to one day be able to be talked about in the same breath at international level as the trio, but time in the under-21s this summer is a more pressing priority.

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