Rodgers ponders loan deal for Liverpool youngster Sterling

The Reds manager has been impressed with the 17-year-old prospect but believes the talented teenager is not yet ready for first-team action
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is considering sending young midfielder Raheem Sterling out on loan for the coming season.

The 17-year-old has impressed the new Reds boss during pre-season and has travelled with the squad for their tour of North America.

Rodgers believes that few players are ready to compete in the Premier League at Sterling's current age, however, he is keen to ensure the winger does not become too carried away with his progress.
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"He is a talent, but he's not ready for the first team yet," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.

"One of the things I've done over my career is manage the expectation of young players and the reality is he is still very, very young.

"There are very few players in the world who get into a Premier League team at 17, never mind a top club. He has certainly shown qualities and we'll decide over the next few weeks whether he stays and he's involved now or if he goes for a loan period. That's a decision for me over the next few weeks."

Sterling, who arrived at Anfield from QPR as a 15-year-old, is determined to let his form during pre-season do the talking.

The winger could feature when the Reds take on Toronto FC at the Rogers Centre, which usually houses the city's baseball team, on Saturday.

"Obviously everyone wants to be playing now, but that's not the real world and you have to take it step by step," Sterling explained.

"Then when you get the call, you want to take it which is what I'm hoping to do here. The manager just said work hard and it doesn't matter about your age, if you work hard, if you get the chance just take it.

"It was a dream come true to have everyone wanting to see me play [when he made his debut against Wigan Athletic last season] and really exciting. Now I just want to get better.

"It's a good feeling to have that expectation but I'm still only 17 and learning. As a young player you're always trying to impress, especially when it's a new manager, but it's also key not to overdo it and keep it simple.

"It's great to be part of the squad and the new manager is great with the young lads and he wants attractive football, which is what Liverpool Football Club is all about.

"I just hope to do well if I get some minutes in the pre-season games and take it from there. Playing last season has whet my appetite even more, but we'll have to see if the manager thinks I can be part of the team."