Raheem Sterling delivered the game-winning goal for Liverpool in a Boxing Day contest against Burnley, and Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers is excited for the young English international.
At age 20, many thought Sterling’s boundless potential existed on the wing, or in the center as an attacking midfielder, but the Northern Irishman has employed him as a forward instead.
After receiving flak for doing so, it appears this move has begun to pay off, with Sterling netting three goals in the past three games, including a brace against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup.
With Daniel Sturridge still not fully ready to perform on the pitch, along with the departure of star striker Luis Suarez, Liverpool has struggled to preserve a goalscorer able to clinically in and around the box. And this issue has definitely contributed to the Red’s rocky results up to this point in the season.
Is Sterling the solution? Rodgers thinks so, and he asserted that the former Queens Park Ranger youth standout will continue to evolve the abilities as a scorer. The 41-year-old drew upon statistics of Sterling from a season ago to support this view.
“You’ve other players who are out-and-out number nines but as [Sterling’s] career matures I think he will show he’s got that ability,” Rodgers said, courtesy of The Telegraph. “I think you’ll see Raheem’s numbers improve and improve as his career goes on.
“His outcome last year in terms of goals and assists is probably where it’s at – up and around between 10 and 15 is a very good return for him,” Rodgers said. “He knows his job is to create goals and score goals and he’s doing very well at the moment.”
We can only wait and see what role Sterling will take on once Sturridge comes back from injury, which will supposedly happen in early January. Would a duel-forward formation be in order? Or is Sterling’s pace too valuable in the midfield?