‘I rate him highly’ – Wenger wary of Liverpool dangerman Sterling

The 20-year-old scored twice the last time Arsenal visited Anfield in February and while this season has been more difficult, the Frenchman remains a fan of the youngster

Arsene Wenger has hailed Raheem Sterling’s impact at Liverpool ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Anfield on Sunday.

Sterling came of age as Brendan Rodgers’ men narrowly missed out on a first league title since 1990 last season, notching nine goals and five assists in 33 Premier League appearances.

Things have been more difficult this term, with the 20-year-old forced to assume even greater responsibility in the wake of Luis Suarez’s summer move to Barcelona and Daniel Sturridge’s persistent injury problems.

But as his Arsenal side prepare to take on Sterling and Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, Wenger was full of praise for the youngster.

“I rate him highly,” the Frenchman told reporters. “Everybody spoke about Suarez last year but Sturridge and Sterling were very influential.”

Arsenal found themselves 4-0 down after 20 minutes the last time these two sides met on Merseyside in February – with Sterling scoring twice – and while Wenger acknowledges Liverpool are significantly weakened, he is wary of the Anfield crowd.

“Last year Liverpool scored over 100 goals,” he added. “Now they’re not on the same trend. They came off the blocks very strong last time.

“I have a lot of respect for the crowd at Liverpool because they stand behind their team.”

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