Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Rodgers: Sterling deserves England place

Raheem Sterling, left, has impressed for Liverpool this season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers feels Raheem Sterling is fully deserving of a place in the senior England squad at the moment and is confident the 17-year-old will be well "looked after" if he receives another call-up.

The fact that Sterling has been named as part of the England Under-21 squad for their double-header with Serbia would appear to suggest he will not figure in Roy Hodgson's senior squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland after he was part of the squad for last month's 1-1 draw with Ukraine.

However, Rodgers has no doubt Sterling's performances for Liverpool this season have merited further involvement with the senior national squad. He said: "Raheem has been brilliant. He is a real good kid who has stepped into the team and done exceptionally well."

Rodgers added: "So in terms of whether he deserves a place (in the senior England squad), then of course - in terms of his performance level, he has been outstanding.

"Thankfully we have an England manager who has many, many years of experience and a wonderful group of players, so if he did get called up, he would be looked after I'm sure.

"I think with young players, we have seen so many times in this country top talents at 17 and 18 who have too much too young and pressure forced on to them too early.

"By the time they get to 21 or 22 everyone has forgotten about them. But Roy is a very experienced manager and I'm sure when he feels the time is right for him to come in and make an impact, he will do that."

Sterling is one of a clutch of youngsters who have impressed for the Reds this season, with 19-year-old defender Andre Wisdom and 18-year-old forward Suso also catching the eye.

There has been talk of the trio being rewarded with new contracts and asked about the matter, Rodgers said: "I always believe you have to earn it, but there is no doubt that these boys have done well.

"It is something that we will look at over the next few months. There have been discussions between the club and representatives, but it is at an early stage."

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