English Premiership

Be patient with Sterling

2014-10-09 14:24
Raheem Sterling (Supplied)

Cape Town - Former England and Tottenham winger Chris Waddle has urged fans to be patient with Raheem Sterling as he continues his development.

Sterling's stock has grown immensely over the past couple of years at Anfield, with the youngster becoming a key player for both club and country, and almost helping the Reds to their first Premier League title in over 20 years last season.

Three lions boss Roy Hodgson has since identified Sterling as one of the players to build the new generation of English talent around, along with the likes of club-mates Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson.

Still just 19 years of age, Waddle believes the Jamaican-born attacker has all the tools to develop into a top-class player but has warned fans not to put too much pressure on the teenager too early.

"He is not the finished article by a long way. He knows that, Brendan Rodgers will probably say that, and I think the players who play with him will say that," said former Marseille star.

"But the potential is there, he obviously played well for Liverpool season last year, had a big part in the Suarez-Sturridge partnership and came close to winning the league.

"He is a player who's got pace and can beat people; these are the players we need to find, and hopefully he'll develop into a top-class player.

"When you get the expectations you get that respect from other players, from team-mates and the opposition. It becomes harder because teams will close him down, mark him closer, double up on him, and then he has to add that to his game again.

"It's all learning for him now. I don't pin my hopes on a 19-year-old kid at the minute."

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