Liverpool boss ready to save youngster

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has vowed to give Raheem Sterling a break from first-team action in the New Year.

The 20-year-old attacker has been one of the Reds’ better performers during what has been a bellow par start to the season, building on his key role in the title run-in of last term.

His 2014 performances saw Sterling named the Golden Boy last week, which is an award given to Europe’s top young player – the likes of Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero are previous recipients.

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Despite his age, the England international has already made 23 appearances for the Merseysiders this season, operating in a range of positions including wing-back and centre-forward.

There have been fears that so much football at such an early stage of his career may have repercussions in the future, with a former Kop idol in the shape of Michael Owen a prime example of the dangers of ‘burn out’.

And Rodgers says that he will do all he can to save Sterling, with a post Christmas break planned for the versatile ace:

“Raheem will have a rest even though he hasn’t been looking tired, either the other night or over the last number of games.” He is quoted by The Mirror.

“But he is in a similar mould to Wayne Rooney – who I think is brilliant – in that if you take him out of a rhythm, it takes him a while to get going again.

“If you look at Rooney, he is better in rhythm. Take Rooney out for a couple of games and he is not the same player.

“There is a period already mapped out for Raheem when he will come out and have that breather and recovery after Christmas.”