Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is wary of asking too much, too soon of Raheem Sterling despite the young winger’s impressive form so far this season.
The 17-year-old has shot to prominence in recent weeks, starring for the Reds during pre-season before starting two Premier League games against Manchester City and Arsenal.
Sterling was called up to the England Under-19 squad earlier this week and despite believing that he has the ability to play for the Under-21 side, Rodgers was pleased to see that the former QPR academy player would not be rushed to a higher level.
“I think with young players you have to be careful,” he told reporters. “They can be elevated above their station too quickly. That is a part of it in this country. They have one good game and they get elevated into superstar status.
“You then see them at 23 and 24 and wonder why they are not superstars any more. I spoke to Trevor Booking on the thoughts of where the FA believes Raheem is at. I said, in my opinion, of course he has got the ability to be in the Under-21s.
“But I believe in many ways it is right for him to go with the Under-19s. He was involved with us on Sunday.
“He has met up with England squad now and travelled to play in Germany. It then allows him to come back and recover well before our next game at Sunderland.”
Despite Sterling’s exciting performances, Rodgers urged fans to remain patient with the teenager as he continues to develop.
“It is all about individual needs,” Rodgers continued. “It might look great on the back pages that he is involved in the Under-21s but the reality is that this is a kid who has made great strides over the last few weeks; he was absolutely fantastic through pre-season.
“You have seen his quality, courage and attitude in games – it has been fantastic. But, for the moment, let’s just stay calm.”
Rodgers is not the first member of the club to express this sentiment, with Glen Johnson also stating that the squad were helping to make Sterling feel welcome in the first team.