Gerrard praise for teenager Sterling

Sep 11, 2012, 09:38 IST | AFP

Steven Gerrard is confident Liverpool teammate Raheem Sterling will become an England star after the teenage winger was called up for today's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Ukraine

Sterling will get his first taste of the international scene after England coach Roy Hodgson named the 17-year-old as a late addition to his squad for the Wembley clash following the withdrawal of sick Arsenal winger Theo Walcott.

Teen Raheem Sterling, who has been called to replace the injured Theo Walcott

After forcing his way into Liverpool's plans at the start of this season, Sterling, who joined the Reds from QPR in 2010, has already caught Hodgson’s eye.

Given his lack of experience and the lateness of his call-up, Sterling is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench at best against Ukraine, but England captain Gerrard believes it won't be long before he is earning rave reviews for club and country.

“He is a fantastic talent, one of the shining lights at our club this year, even though results haven’t been good enough,” Gerrard said yesterday.

“It is great for him to be called up and get a feel for the senior group because it won’t be too long before he becomes a regular in this group. He is that good. He is a mature 17 year old. There is nothing flash about him at all. He is a quiet kid.

He works hard and listens and that is the key when you are that age and a good player. If you can listen and take advice from good managers and players, you will keep on progressing and improving.

“He is a breath of fresh air, especially for the older lads, with the pace and excitement he brings. He is a nightmare to mark for defenders."

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