Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that Raheem Sterling has shown the sort of ability illustrated by Lionel Messi over the past few years in pre-season, and that he will only get better as the campaign progresses.
The 19-year-old attacker played a pivotal role for the Reds during the back end of the 2013/14 campaign, with his fledgling displays almost helping the Merseysiders to a shock Premier League title.
As a result he earned a spot in England’s World Cup squad, where he was one of only a select bunch of players to return from the botched few weeks with his reputation enhanced.
And now with Luis Suarez no longer at Anfield his importance in Rodgers’ XI is set to increase, with the team likely to be looking at the teenager to provide the creative spark and, more importantly, goals.
Sterling netted 10 times last season, and his manager believes that he will only get better after reminding him of Barcelona superstar Messi in recent weeks:
“His identity is he has to score goals and create goals. That’s what the job is.” He is quote by the Daily Star.
“He scored 10 goals last year and this kid is only going to get better.
“His finish against Manchester City in America, how many times have we seen Messi produce a touch like that? Taking it through bodies and when it’s so tight in the box.
“Raheem’s feet were so soft and his finish was great.
“When you’re so young, it’s important to understand exactly what your role is – not just look good, you have to be efficient and effective.
“His development has gone to a new level. He’s way above the level from when he first came in, tactically, technically.”