Brendan Rodgers gives verdict on Raheem Sterling smoking incident

The Northern Irish boss has confirmed that he will speak to his star after footage of the forward taking nitrous oxide emerged.

Raheem Sterling’s name will be in newspaper headlines for the right reasons today, as the England international scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle last night.

The 20-year-old has been in the press recently due to his reluctance to pen a new deal at Anfield, while footage of the forward taking nitrous oxide emerged at the weekend.

Brendan Rodgers has stated that he intends to talk to the sprightly attacker about the incident and feels that being professional is key in Sterling’s development.

"I'll speak to him on it, I owe him that respect to see what he says on it but obviously as you can imagine I only just saw it," Rodgers told reporters, published in FourFourTwo.

"For me it's something that, you're a professional sportsperson at the top level of the game, I don't think it's something you should be doing. It's as simple as that.

"We want players here that are super professional, that are focused on their football and I know he is.

"He's very much focused on his football and improving as a player. Like I said before, young players they'll make mistakes and as long as they learn from them that's what's important.”

Sterling’s interview with the BBC recently hit the headlines as he labelled Arsenal’s reported interest in him ‘flattering’, while also confirming that he had spurned the chance to sign a new contract with his current employers.

The England international’s future at Merseyside remains a point of contention, with the Reds sweating over new deals for him and Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool’s victory against Newcastle moves them to within four points of fourth-placed Manchester City, with an outside chance that Rodgers’ men can still qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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