Rodgers will not stand in the way of Sterling’s England ‘dream’

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no qualms about Raheem Sterling being called up to the England squad after hailing the player’s growing sense of maturity.

The 17-year-old earned his first senior call-up as a late replacement for the injured Theo Walcott ahead of the recent World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

And, despite having previously warned against rushing the winger’s development, Rodgers insists he would be happy to see Sterling in Roy Hodgson’s squad again.

“It’s very difficult to hold him back,’ said Rodgers told reporters.

“This is his dream. I’m sure he wants to play for his country, he has played through the age levels. I’ve always believed if you are good enough, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

“Raheem is one of the top young players in the country at the moment. I wouldn’t have any worries [if he is selected].

“He’s in capable hands and would have senior players around him. If you look at how he has coped this season, he’s getting better every week.

“His biggest thing is his courage. I’ve seen him grow from a young kid into a young man these last three months.

“He works hard every day and has a real challenge up against the senior players here but he embraces it.”

Sterling is amongst a group of Reds stars who have missed the trip to Moscow to face Anzhi Makhachkala with Sunday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge in mind.

And Rodgers confessed that he must treat the league as his priority whilst managing a squad which is low on numbers.

He added: “We want to get into a position where we can compete on all fronts but with the delicacy of the group, we have to be careful.

“Our priority is the league. Unfortunately if I have to sacrifice other competitions and manage that the best I can because we aren’t maybe in a strong enough state as a squad, then that’s what I’ll have to do.”

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