Give the man a break: generous Liverpool boss gives star man time off

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is confident that Reds starlet Raheem Sterling will be fresh and ready to terrorise Premier League defences once more when he comes back to the club from a mid-season break.

The 20 year-old was allowed an extended break by Rodgers following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City on New Year’s Day, with the Reds boss desperate to ensure that one of his most prized assets does not suffer from burnout in what will be a crucial last few months of the season for the Anfield outfit.

Sterling has played more minutes than any other outfield player in the Premier League this term – making 26 starts and two substitute appearances for Liverpool in all competitions.

He was also a key member of the Liverpool side who nearly clinched the Premier League last season, and after a whirlwind 18 months in football which has propelled the England international to global fame, Rodgers feels that a rest for Sterling is richly deserved.

“If you focus just purely on the here and now then of course you wouldn’t want Raheem to miss anything,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

“But he’s a young player and you have got to look after the needs of the player and ultimately the team and the club.

“He has been outstanding for us in recent months. A period of rest and the recuperation will do him the world of good. It’s been a gruelling first half of the season for him with a lot of matches and a lot of work.

“This is the break I had always planned to give him. It will set him up for the rest of the season.”

Following Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday, Sterling is expected to return from his holiday in Jamaica ready for the trip to Aston Villa.

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