While the northern hemisphere is only just officially turning over into spring, Brendan Rodgers is already making plans for Raheem Sterling's summer. With the U21 European Championship taking place this June in Israel, Rodgers has given Sterling permission to represent his country during the off season break.
"I spoke to Stuart Pearce because we have a number of England U21 boys here and I don't think it would do Raheem any harm," said Rodgers. "He's had a good season and going to a tournament like that, if selected, will be good for his experience."
After a busy autumn that saw the player rendered more and more anonymous each week as exhaustion and lack of other attacking options took their toll on the young player, Rodgers reiterated his previously stated feelings that a close eye must be kept on Sterling's progress.
"I don't know a player around his age who is playing regularly at this level. We just have to ensure that as a club, we don't make any mistakes with his development."
Sterling made a dramatic leap last year from England's U17 squad to earning his first cap with the senior team in November, playing a combined three matches for the U19 and U21 teams in between. Not unlike what he's currently experiencing at club level, Sterling's role within England's set up would be dialed down a notch should he be selected for the U21 squad. It's rare that club and country seem to be on the same page as to what's best for a player of Sterling's age and quality, but ultimately it's in both their best interests to correctly handle a player with such a bright future for both organizations.