Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has declared that Liverpool wonderkid Raheem Sterling is among the best players in England ahead of his side’s tie with the Anfield club.
Sterling was impressive in midweek for the Reds against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup, impressing in a new role.
With Liverpool struggling for striking options, Sterling has been used as a false nine by Brendan Rodgers, and while that was questionable prior to the Bournemouth win, it looks as though Sterling can acclimatise to the role well.
While it may not be a permanent position, given that Daniel Sturridge will soon return from injury, Sterling is expected to start in the same role against the Gunners.
Wenger knows all about the damage Sterling can do in advanced positions, having seen him score a brace against his side in last season’s famed 5-1 win for Liverpool.
“I rate him highly, Sterling,” Wenger said. “Everybody speaks about Suarez last year, but let’s not forget Sturridge and Sterling are very, very influential. I think he is one of the great players in England.”
Both Liverpool and Arsenal have struggled in the league thus far this season, with today’s clash an opportunity for one to turn their form around.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has no fears over Raheem Sterling, believing that the player is not going to be distracted by the intense speculation surrounding his future.
Sterling recently turned down a new £70,000 a week contract to extend his time with the Reds, believing that his form and importance to the first team means that he deserves a significantly higher salary.
Negotiations are still ongoing between the talented forward and the Anfield club, with hope on Liverpool’s part that they can reach an agreement in the near future.
However, with a deal not yet agreed, interest in Sterling from other clubs has stepped up.
The likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have both been linked with a move in the last two days, which could worry Liverpool.
Both clubs could offer Sterling Champions League football, something that is looking increasingly unlikely at his current club, given Liverpool’s recent form.
Rodgers, however, is not worried.
He said: “I think Raheem has been brilliant. I think he’s been absolutely outstanding.
“The kid has been a real catalyst for us in terms of our attacking threat. I don’t think there’s any way there’s anything affecting him.”
Bayern Munich are lining up a surprising move for Liverpool’s starlet Raheem Sterling, should they not tempt Borussia Dortmund into selling Marco Reus.
The Bundesliga champions are particularly keen to capture the German international, but Reus is not necessarily keen to move to another Bundesliga side.
He has seen the unrest that happened when both Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze moved to Dortmund’s rivals.
Reus does not want to be at the centre of the same sort of furore.
As a result, Bayern might turn to Liverpool’s Sterling.
Sterling has a contract issue brewing with the Reds, having turned down an offer of £70,000 a week to renew his deal.
The England international believes that he is worth far more than that, having had his breakout season last campaign.
If Bayern Munich can match his demands for a new contract, the size of the German club might mean that they can tempt him into a switch, according to the Daily Star.