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New Contract Not an Issue for Sterling

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Talk of disagreement over the wage amount for 17 year-old Raheem Sterling has given pause for some, but Brendan Rodgers is confident that Raheem Sterling's Liverpool future is secure.

Clive Rose

The narrative of the 2012-2013 is still unfolding, but one of the predominant themes for Liverpool thus far has been the emergence of the club's younger talent. By force or by choice, the squad's been littered with Academy graduates and teenagers, and the number of minutes logged by the more promising faces has provided optimism despite a string of fairly disappointing results and the lingering concern about the lack of depth that's allowed them to feature so heavily.

Early success has given way to a focus on the need to secure their futures at the club, and with Suso signing an extension earlier in the fall and Andre Wisdom doing the same last summer, Raheem Sterling's the last of the first-team's fresher faces to go without.

For many that's a cause for concern, particularly given that for most, attention paid to Liverpool's youngsters starts and ends with Sterling. Already a senior international and the first of this season's promising group to break into the starting eleven, he's a prized asset and one that's understandably attracted plenty of attention from other clubs. The summer saw a fair few interested, and with his Liverpool contract situation still not settled--reports have the club offering one number and the player (and his representation) demanding another--some have voiced concern that the player's future won't be on Merseyside.

Brendan Rodgers isn't one of those people, and today the manager asserted his confidence in getting things squared away relatively soon, and that it's in everyone's best interests to have Raheem Sterling at Liverpool:

"I think it will be pretty straightforward. Raheem himself, his representatives and his family, they know he's at the best club he can ever be at for his development in both the short and long term. So that will be resolved. There won't be an issue there."

The new manager hasn't seemed to lack in confidence about much, and here it seems well-placed enough. A week or so ago there was some sort of thing on Twitter when Sterling wrote and then deleted a statement that indicated the signing of a new contract was just a formality, put off only by the fact that they were waiting until he turned 18. Whatever the case, securing his future with Liverpool will prove a major boost for the club, as he's someone who's talented enough for both the present and the future.

Hopefully the next two transfer windows see the club as a whole improve, and that, as talented as Raheem Sterling is, the club's dealings ease some of the demand on the young player. He has the potential to be a match-winner and has shown glimpses of that so far, but he's one of few in the squad that's viewed as having that sort of impact. At 17, 18, 19 years-old that's a huge ask, and while it's likely that he'll continue to feature regularly in the interim, his future can only be promising if he's allowed to have one rather than all the focus being now now now.