Brendan Rodgers has urged Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling to emulate Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s form at Anfield.
The 19-year-old broke into the first season two years ago and since then he has been a regular inclusion in the Merseyside club’s starting XI. The Portuguese international was signed by Manchester United at 18 and was the Old Trafford club’s standout players during his six years in England.
The former Swansea manager believes Sterling’s development is going in the right direction. However, Rodgers says the England international should put hours into practice in order to see come anywhere close to the former Manchester United forward.
“You would argue that at 19 Raheem has had a similar impact. Ronaldo came to the country as an 18-year-old, and certainly in these last couple of years Raheem has made a similar impact at the beginning of his career,” Rodgers told the Liverpool ECHO.
“It’s now about going to those next levels with the second part of his curve. The first part is coming in and establishing yourself as a young player – it’s not easy earning that respect.”
“Now hopefully he’ll move onto the levels. He won’t have a better example than (Ronaldo) because how he lives his life as a professional and his efficiency on the field as his numbers dictate everything. He’s super-efficient.”
“It is a joy to see someone who puts so much into their game get their rewards. It’s not by accident. The hours he puts in to practice to work to get his body right to prepare to look after himself, it’s an absolute joy to see that talent,” Liverpool manager said.
It should be seen if Sterling can follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps and help Liverpool come out on top once again. Last season the Reds finished second, two points behind Premier League champions Manchester City.
Earlier in the summer, Liverpool allowed their star striker Luis Suarez leave and replaced him with Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert. With the departure of the Uruguayan international and injury to Daniel Sturridge, Sterling has been in spotlight as Balotelli continues his poor form.
After an impressive last season, there is a certain amount of expectation from Sterling by fans to showcase his talent week in week out. However, this campaign, he has not been able to replicate last season’s form and Rodgers would be hoping the English attacker, along with new signings can help Liverpool end the season on a high.