If Friday's appearance against Peru is anything to go off of, Raheem Sterling carries a fairly heavy burden for the England national team. For most of the time without him on the pitch, they lacked urgency and aggression going forward, often content to lump it forward or try to rely on a moment of individual magic--which they thankfully got from Daniel Sturridge--rather than go after their opponent. After Sterling came on, however, it was a different story, as the Liverpool man did what he does best, and in turn dragged the rest of the front six along with him.
It was a familiar sight for Liverpool supporters, who watched the 19 year old terrorize Premier League defenses for most of the second half of the season. He started slowly but simply didn't stop once he got going, earning himself the aforementioned England role and, once his international duties are up for the summer, reportedly a new contract.
Right now everyone from the Daily Mail to the Mirror and back again is quoting length and payment as 5 years and around £100k per week, both of which are significant commitments from the club. Given his progress over the past seven months--along with promise shown over the course of his development--it's hard to argue if they were to make that sort of offer.
Sterling's trajectory at the current time doesn't really have a ceiling; he's one of the fastest players in the league with a terrific quick burst of pace to get going, and has shown that he can be consistently effective operating from the wide areas as well as through the middle in the number ten role. He seems to have found a fit at Liverpool, and in turn the club look to have one the league's most exciting players in their attack for years to come.
Solidifying that further--while still emphasizing the need for growth and responsibility on and off the pitch, as they've done to great effect this past season--once the World Cup's over can only be a good thing.
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