9 September 2014 11:35
Former England international Jamie Redknapp believes Raheem Sterling is already the country’s best player, at the age of 19.
After rising to prominence at Liverpool under the management of Brendan Rodgers, Sterling has quickly established himself as a key figure in Roy Hodgson’s England side.
The teenager was involved in both goals as England kicked off their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with an impressive 2-0 win in Switzerland on Monday.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp said: “He is such a weapon for England and Liverpool. He is now our best player – aged 19 – and defenders are frightened of him.
“Raheem Sterling is England’s David Silva. He doesn’t manipulate the ball like the Spaniard, but he can play between the lines and he has something Silva doesn’t have: destructive pace.
“The pass he delivered for the [opening] goal was with his left foot and I can’t see a weakness in his game.
“Credit to Brendan Rodgers for developing him and he will get better.”
Sterling initially featured as a winger for Liverpool but has since been utilised in a central role for club and country.
Redknapp was pleased to see the youngster occupy a position behind England’s front two of Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney on Monday.
“England have to play him through the middle. That’s where the best players play,” Redknapp added.
“Get him on the ball and facing up to defenders. He will win free-kicks and penalties and he will score goals.”