Steven Gerrard Says Raheem Sterling Deserves England Call Up, Urges Young Talents to Stay Grounded


Steven Gerrard Says Raheem Sterling Deserves England Call Up, Urges Young Talents to Stay GroundedSteven Gerrard insists Raheem Sterling has plenty of hard work ahead to ensure he fulfils his vast potential despite his call up to the England senior squad.

The 17-year-old was brought in along with Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana and Tottenham starlet Jake Livermore for the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday.

And while Gerrard believes the young winger’s start to the season has justified his call up, he wants Sterling to remain grounded and focused.

“I think he deserves this call up,” said the skipper. “I think the impact he has made has been sensational. He has been one of our shining lights.

“The results that we have had so far this season haven’t been good enough, but he has still stood out and his performances have been really good.

“I think the important thing now is that he keeps his feet on the ground, keeps learning and keeps trying to find a consistency in his game.

“I don’t think it will be very long before he’s in the England set-up for real. The [England] manager is going to be picking him as a regular because he is that kind of talent.

“The young lads [who have been called up] are fantastic talents. I think it is important to be patient with them because they have all the tools.

“Let’s not build them up and put too much pressure on them. Let them just progress and become good players naturally.”

England boss Roy Hodgson, who worked with Sterling during his tenure in the Anfield hot-seat, spoke of how the youngster has improved since he handed him a minor role in the Reds’ preseason clash with Borussia Monchengladbach in 2010.

“I met Raheem a couple of years ago at Liverpool,” said Hodgson. “He actually played a few minutes of a game against Monchengladbach in the preseason. But of course in the last two years, he has come on in leaps and bounds.

“Stevie [Gerrard] will know him very well and quite frankly in the opening matches he has played, reports on him have been very good. So this was an opportunity just to bring him into the group.

“I shall make it clear to him that I’m not necessarily bringing him in with a view to playing him now. I’m bringing him in because there might be a time in the future when, not only does he feature as a substitute, he might even be breaking his way into the team.

“[With players leaving the squad] I thought it was a great opportunity to invite some younger players to come in and be part of the atmosphere.

“I still think we have enough players to deal with the game but it’s good to be able to invite these young players to come and be around here for a short period of time.”

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