Sterling could force his way to the World Cup, says Liverpool boss Rodgers

The young winger has excelled with three goals in his last five games and the Northern Irishman believes that he could soon add to his solitary international cap

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Raheem Sterling’s improved form could see him force his way into England’s World Cup squad.

The 19-year-old made his international debut in November 2012 against Sweden in a friendly but has not featured for Roy Hodgson’s side since, developing instead with Gareth Southgate’s Under-21s.

But, after a tough year of injuries and poor performances, the winger has brightened up and started the Reds’ last five matches, scoring three goals in the process.

“He’s got every opportunity of getting in the World Cup squad – he was able to showcase his talents in the last few weeks, so every opportunity,” Rodgers told reporters of Sterling.

“He’s done very well for the Under-21s when he’s played. I think, if you look at a number of the English players playing for us, there was Jordan Henderson and the level of his game at the weekend, the likes of Raheem…

“I think this is a place where the young players are growing and developing and that will benefit England and Liverpool as well.

“Raheem has shown he is back now. He’s had five games on the spin [in which] he has shown he is back to that level where he is really aggressive and direct.

“He had a real dip in his performance level for a number of reasons but the one thing is I’m always fair with players if they are performing in training and showing a real focus and what he is doing is scoring goals, which is important.”

Rodgers has deployed Sterling in a less familiar role on the right wing this season and the manager says that he is adapting to the youngster’s performances in training.

“It’s interesting because he preferred playing from the left and he has always played there,” the Northern Irishman observed, “but, when I looked at him in training, all his goals were coming from the right so it’s a question of working with him.

“He’s still so young – he was only 19 the other week and I’m sure there will be other dips along the way. He’s still only learning but he’s shown he has got that ability to play at the top level.”

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