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Sterling Prepared to Go Back to Square One to Earn Starting Spot

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After a breakout 2013-2014 season in the Premier League and a starring role for England this summer, Raheem Sterling could have started to take his status as secure heading into the new season. Thankfully that's not the case.

Michael Regan

To date, Liverpool's summer transfer window has focused primarily on goals, creativity, and the ability to fill a number of different roles in the squad. Emre Can is the least attack-minded player of the four Brendan Rodgers has brought in, but even he looks fond of picking up a head of steam and rolling downhill to see what happens. In Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, and Rickie Lambert, though, Rodgers has players who can provide a spark going forward and, ideally, get plenty of goals along the way.

On their own, that triumvirate looks capable of finding the net more often than not, and when added to the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, and Raheem Sterling, the possibilities are more than a little exciting. For Sterling's part, the presence of possibilities where there previously were none demands that the 19-year-old go back to square one in proving that he deserves a spot in the squad:

"I've still got to prove myself; the manager has brought players in that are all in similar positions to me, so I've just got to keep working hard, show the manager what I can do and try not to take my foot off the gas, pressing for a place in this team. It's a top football club with top players, who come in to compete and do their best every day. That's been no different so far [in training]. There is definitely much more to come from me. I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I can get into my full stride this season and try to do the best for the football club."

This is, of course, the byproduct of adding more quality to the squad. Not only are there better players available, but those already present are required to continually push themselves in order to justify their inclusion. Considering the recent campaigns put together by the likes of Sterling and Coutinho--and the respective qualities of Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana along with the emerging promise of Jordon Ibe--the prospect of "more to come" is an enticing one.

And one that's rightfully a little concerning for the rest of the Premier League.