Steven Gerrard has heaped praise onto 17-year-old Raheem Sterling, after the youngster claimed his first goal for Liverpool in a 1-0 win over Reading during the weekend.
Sterling has developed into a first team regular under Brendan Rodgers, who has overseen the youngster’s remarkable rise this season. After making his first team debut last March, the former Queens Park Rangers starlet has gone to receive call-ups for both the senior England side and Stuart Pearce’s U21 side after impressing for the Anfield club on a regular basis. Club captain Gerrard has been blown away by the 17-year-old’s rapid progress and his seamless transition to first team football.
"I think Raheem has been a great surprise to everyone," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo. "Not that he's doing so well at this level - as we always knew he was going to be good enough to play for the first team - but I don't think anyone expected him to break through so early.
"When they are young and small sometimes they get eased in towards the end of a season to give them a taste. But the new manager has come in, seen what he's done in pre-season and said 'yeah, he's ready now,” Gerrard added.
"He's given him his chance and Raheem's not let anyone down. He's been sensational so far.
"We all know he's exciting, that he can run at players and if he gets in one on one situations he's deadly. If he can add goals and assists to his game as he grows then he can go all the way to the top."
Sterling delivered a virtuoso performance as Liverpool sealed their first home win of the season over Reading Saturday afternoon, where his first half winner made him the second youngest goal scorer at the club.