"He is a talent, but he’s not ready for the first team yet," said manager Brendan Rodgers when asked about Raheem Sterling's chances of becoming a regular for Liverpool this year. "One of the things I’ve done over my career is manage the expectations of young players and the reality is he is still very, very young.
"There are very few players in the world who get into a Premier League team at 17, never mind a top club. He has certainly shown qualities and we’ll decide over the next few weeks whether he stays and he’s involved [as a squad player] or if he goes on loan for a period. That’s a decision for me over the next few weeks."
And for his part, Sterling seems willing to accept that he may not be ready to take on a starring role at Liverpool just yet: "Obviously everyone wants to be playing now, but that’s not the real world and you have to take it step by step. Then when you get the call, you want to take it which is what I’m hoping to do.
"It’s a good feeling to have that expectation, but I’m still only 17 and learning. As a young player you’re always trying to impress, especially when it’s a new manager, but it’s also key not to overdo it and to keep it simple. I just hope to do well if I get some minutes in the pre-season games and take it from there."