Liverpool defender Glen Johnson believes that Raheem Sterling is one of the first names in Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI as the Reds battle for the Premier League title.

The 19-year-old winger has established himself as a first-team regular at Anfield since the turn of the year, playing key roles in momentous victories against the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Sterling initially broke into the Liverpool team under Kenny Dalglish, but has flourished during Rodgers’ reign, playing a huge part in the Northern Irishman’s opening months in the dugout.

He slid away from the XI for a while, but has recently returned with aplomb, and Johnson feels that his young team-mate is currently one of the Merseysiders’ key men:

“He [Sterling] has been class. When he first burst onto the scene, everyone could see how good he could be.” He is quoted by the Daily Star.

“I know he had a couple of months where he wasn’t in the team as much as he would have liked, but I think he has bounced back better for that.

“At the moment, he’s probably one of the first names on the teamsheet.”

Johnson also believes that the teenage ace has a good chance of making it into England’s final squad for the World Cup later this year:

“It’s all kind of coming together at the right time for him.

“If he keeps playing the way he is, he’s definitely got a chance to be involved in the summer.”