Hodgson hails Sterling ‘re-emergence’ ahead of World Cup

The winger has just one cap for his country, but a return to form for Liverpool has seen his chances of inclusion in the England squad heightened

England manager Roy Hodgson has hailed the “re-emergence” of Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling ahead of the World Cup.

The 19-year-old has started the Reds’ last 14 Premier League fixtures and recently scored twice in a 5-1 win over title rivals Arsenal.

Sterling has just one cap to his name, coming in November 2012, but Hodgson has hinted that the winger is in his plans ahead of the summer trip to Brazil.

“Sterling emerging and doing as well as he is in a top team just puts a lot of pressure on ­everybody else, because if you can do it at the top of the table with Liverpool then you can do it in an England shirt,” he told reporters.

“It’s a re-emergence for him in a way. We gave him his debut against Sweden, when we opened the stadium in Stockholm, and he had burst into the Liverpool team and was doing fantastically well. Then he lost his place and almost disappeared. He wasn’t on the radar to such an extent.

“Then I remember having that U21 game against Scotland last summer and being very impressed with him, but at a time when he still hadn’t really burst back into the Liverpool team.

“But now, since he’s back in the Liverpool team, his form seems to be going up and up and up. And it means we do have ­competition in wide areas, on the right and left.”

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has praised the form of another of Liverpool’s youngsters, calling Philippe Coutinho’s €10 million move to Anfield “a snip”.

“Philippe has been a snip. He’s an absolutely wonderful talent,” Rodgers told reporters.

“There are very few players at this level now who can penetrate with a pass and play through teams like he does. The quality and weight of his passes is sensational.

“When I worked at Chelsea I used to watch Deco. He was a bit older than Coutinho is, but I still remember his first training session when he got a round of applause.

“Coutinho is like that. He has pure quality and can make the difference in games.”

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