Liverpool to 'protect' Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling
© PA Photos
Brendan Rodgers says that Liverpool will try to protect 17-year-old Raheem Sterling.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that the club will try to protect Raheem Sterling.

The 17-year-old has earned a heap of praise following his impressive displays against Manchester City and Arsenal.

The winger lines up for the England Under-19s this evening, with many calling for him to be pushed up to the Under-21s. However, Rodgers has said that the Reds have to be careful in nurturing Sterling.

"I think with young players you have to be careful," said Rodgers. "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 you wonder why they are not superstars anymore. I spoke to Trevor Booking on the thoughts of where the FA believe he 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.

"It is all about individual needs. 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."

Liverpool have yet to win in the Premier League this season.

Glen Johnson
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