Former Liverpool FC midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes the club and its fans must protect young starlet Raheem Sterling.
Sterling made his Liverpool debut towards the end of last season and has become a permanent fixture in the Anfield side’s starting XI so far this Premier League season.
The German, who appeared 253 times for Liverpool between 2000 and 2006, admitted that the 17-year-old has impressed him so far this season but claims that the club must be prepared to support him through times when his form may dip.
Hamann told Sky Sports: “He is very impressive. I think to play at this level when you’re 17 years of age, he scored his first goal on Sunday, and I think it is fantastic to see him being in the first team.
“When these kids come in, you only see how good they are when they start playing for the first team and certainly he doesn’t look out of place. I think he has got a tremendous future ahead of him.
“But at the same time I think the club and the fans have to protect him because there will be a time when his form will dip, because he is only a kid, but at the same time the way he has been playing at the moment has been fantastic.”
Hamann also believes that, ahead of the 219th Merseyside Derby on Sunday, that Everton are now a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League and that Marouane Fellaini is a big threat.
“Everton are playing like a top four team at the moment, there’s no reason to believe they can’t finish in the top four,” he added.
“I think their squad now is bigger and stronger than it has been over the last few seasons.”
“If Fellaini doesn’t play on Sunday that could slightly swing it in Liverpool’s favour.”
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