Rodgers Tips Raheem Sterling for England Return

Jan Kruger

Always one to support his young players, Brendan Rodgers is doing everything he can to ensure that Roy Hodgson's lidless and unblinking eye focuses on Raheem Sterling before he finalizes his World Cup squad.

Brendan Rodgers seems to have all the World Cup-bound managers on speed dial lately. First came his gentle suggestions to Luiz Felipe Scolari that Philippe Coutinho would make a fine addition to his Brazil's squad, and now Rodgers is priming Liverpool enthusiast Roy Hodgson to ensure that young Raheem Sterling is on England's plane to Brazil.

“He’s got every opportunity of getting in the World Cup squad - he was able to showcase his talents in the last few weeks, so every opportunity,” Rodgers said. “He’s done very well for the under 21s when he’s played.

"I think if you look at a number of the English players playing for us - there was Jordan Henderson and the level of his game at the weekend. The likes of Raheem. I think this is a place where the young players are growing and developing and that will benefit England and Liverpool as well.”

Sterling hasn't featured for England since earning his first cap for the Three Lions in 2012, so while a spot on England's roster might be a wee bit premature, the player has impressed enough during training for Liverpool that Rodgers that he's earned a spot back in the line-up.

“Raheem has shown he is back now," Rodgers said. "He’s had five games on the spin he has shown he is back to that level where he is really aggressive and direct. He had a real dip in his performance level for a number of reasons but the one thing is I’m always fair with players if they are performing in training and showing a real focus.

“And what he is doing is scoring goals, which is important. It's interesting because he preferred playing from the left, and he has always played there. But when I looked at him in training all his goals were coming from the right. So it’s a question of working with him."

Daniel Sturridge's eventual return from injury could spell the end of Sterling's knocked-on starts as Rodgers reshuffles his front line to accommodate the striker, or it could be a case of Sterling's form keeping Sturridge from the line-up as has been the case in other areas of the squad. Until that point, it's up to Sterling to put his manager in a tough place when it comes to team selection.

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