Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Raheem Sterling can score at least 15 goals this season…
Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has the ability to at least double his current goal tally this season, and has set the 20-year-old a target of 15 by the end of the campaign.
The England international scored the winner against Burnley on Boxing Day, making it three goals in as many games, as well as six for the season.
However, his recent run of goals followed a 21-match streak without Sterling finding the net, and Rodgers is determined to ensure that there is no repeat of such a drought.
The Liverpool boss, who is quoted by the Daily Mirror, said: “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.
“The boy is a natural winger and if he gets those figures on a regular basis it’s a very good number for him. You’ve other players who are out-and-out number nines but as his career matures I think he will show he’s got that ability.
“I genuinely believe he has that ability to score. He’s very instinctive. I think you’ll see Raheem’s numbers improve and improve as his career goes on. He’s offering us a real threat. His pace is phenomenal but he also has that composure at the end.”
Sterling has been playing in a central striker’s role in recent weeks, as Rodgers has look to further cope with injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli, and has impressed in the position.
Rodgers believes the youngster is maturing fast and he added: “If you have talent you’re going to be under scrutiny. We protect the players as much as we can. I’ve seen him develop into a wonderful young man. He’s got great maturity.
“I think back to the boy at 17 when I arrived, how he’s taken it in his stride despite having difficult moments in there. He’s a real pleasure to work with. Hopefully we can work together for a long time.”