1 September 2014 09:26
Brendan Rodgers expects Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson to be influential figures for England in the coming years.
The trio impressed on Sunday as Liverpool bounced back from a 3-1 defeat to champions Manchester City by easing to a 3-0 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Sterling opened the scoring inside eight minutes following good work from Sturridge and Henderson, and all three players earned praise from their manager after the game, with Rodgers believing England boss Roy Hodgson will benefit from their continued development.
“These are boys that are playing in a top league, with a top club and are showing great awareness, work rate and energy,” he said.
“They are showing they can play in different systems as well, so they’ll be key over the coming years for Roy.”
Henderson has blossomed into one of Liverpool’s most valuable players since Rodgers’ arrival at Anfield in 2012, forming a strong partnership with former England captain Steven Gerrard in central midfield.
“He’s certainly taken on those leadership qualities – you can see his complete stature on the field,” Rodgers added.
“Other than Steven, he’s played the most games since I’ve come into the club, so I obviously rate his talent very highly.”
Italy striker Mario Balotelli enjoyed an encouraging debut for Liverpool at Tottenham, albeit having been provided with unexpected duties by Rodgers.
“I’m giving him responsibility – for the first time in his life, he marked at a corner,” said the Liverpool boss with a smile.
“Seriously, he’s an international player, with league titles and a Champions League, and when we working on corners in training, I told him to pick someone up and he said ‘I don’t mark at corners’ – so I told him ‘you do now’.”