Raheem Sterling looks likely to figure in Liverpool’s Wigan squad following a number of high profile injuries. With news that Charlie Adam could be out for the season, as well as injuries to Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly, Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger respectively, Kenny Dalglish is running thin on options.
And Sterling, who scored for the reserves against Arsenal on Tuesday, was not featured at all in the U-18s Next Gen fixture today; further adding fuel to the fire.
The 17-year-old will be hoping to make his long-awaited debut two years after signing for Liverpool; although is in no rush and told Kopsource that he would wait until he is 20 for his debut if need be.
Speaking in regard to blooding youngsters, Dalglish recently went on record to state that they will get their chances if they are worthy.
“Whether someone is 17 or 27, it doesn’t make any difference,” Dalglish said.
“But whether you want to be involved doesn’t mean to say you should be involved. You have to deserve to be involved.
“The deserving bit is the most important thing and we will decide if anyone deserves to be involved, not anybody else. You earn the right to a run out by what you do on the pitch, not by what’s said in newspapers.
“Our young players have progressed because of the way they have been looked after”.
Although the Scot admitted that some youth players may get a chance earlier than he would have anticipated following the club’s current injury worries.
“Raheem has progressed the same as a lot of young players have progressed and that’s testimony to the people at the Academy as well as the individuals. Our circumstances might dictate they have to be involved.”
With Liverpool failing to secure fourth, and seemingly focusing on their up coming cup games, there have been calls for the club to blood some of its youngsters; although Dalglish admits that it is difficult to give all the youngsters a shot given the choice of up-and-coming talent at his disposal.
“We had Robbo and Flanno come through last year and then there’s Jonjo and Kells as well,” Dalglish added.
Dalglish also admitted that the blooding of any young talent has to be done carefully and managed well; whether it be game time through the club or loan spells elsewhere.
“Their development has happened because they were looked after. If we were in a better position we would maybe have allowed a few of the boys to go out on loan somewhere.
“But we’re not in a position like that because we don’t have the players available to cover for them to go out on loan.
“That would have been part of their development and part of the progress for us to have them back as good professional footballers. They had to stay here because of the position we are in with injuries. We hope it doesn’t stunt their development.
“For any youngsters in the squad here, they have only got there because we have managed them, either at the Academy or here. We have to continue to manage them properly.
“If it’s right for someone to play and they deserve to play then they will have a game but only if it’s right for us”.
And although young, Dalglish admits that there is a time where you have to just take a chance and stop managing them so carefully.
“There comes a time when you have to take the nappies off them and see if they have got it.”
If you want to know more about Raheem Sterling, check out our blog entitled ‘Liverpool’s Next Star‘ to find out what all the fuss is about.
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