Pearce praises Liverpool wonderkid

Raheem Sterling, England and LiverpoolEngland Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce wants to see an increase in home-grown talent being given Premier League opportunities, picking out Liverpool‘s Raheem Sterling as the perfect example.

Eighteen-year-old Sterling is on the verge of making his under-21 debut on Friday in their European Championship play-off against Serbia and has impressed Pearce with the start he has made to the season with a struggling Liverpool side.

Pearce told the Daily Mail: “He has had a fantastic start to the season. He has been in our development age groups prior to this season and he had the fortunate opportunity to be with the seniors last time out and he has come in now and has got the opportunity to vie for a place with the Under-21s.

“He has fit in really well to be fair, he will bring the confidence he has got and that Brendan Rodgers has given him – he has got his tail up at the moment and looks a real handful.”

Sterling was named in Roy Hodgson’s senior squad for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine to gain precious experience at the highest level, and Pearce wants to see more players like Sterling being given a chance.

“We would prefer more young players breaking into their teams, there is no doubt about that,” he said.

Pearce also picked out Liverpool as a side who are giving their young talented youngsters a chance to prove themselves in the Premier League.

“When you look at Liverpool there is (Jonjo) Shelvey, Andre Wisdom has just got in the team recently, Raheem has got into the team,” he added.

England under-21s play their return leg against Serbia on Tuesday evening in Krusevac, with the winner over two legs making it through to next year’s finals in Israel.