Liverpool's Loan stars show Sterling how vital experience is

15 November 2013 09:21

Under the reign of Rafa Benitez, it was rare to see an academy player break into the Liverpool starting XI.

If it wasn't for veterans Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, who were well established in the Liverpool side, it was unlikely that there would have been any.

Benitez seemed a lot more keen on signing young Spaniards instead of giving local lads a chance, bringing in like Miki Roque, Dani Ayala and David Ngog into both the youth and first team set up.

Most of the players that were brought in turned to be flops and it made Liverpool question why academy players weren't getting a chance.

The new LFC TV gave Reds fans the pleasure of watching youth team matches, and seeing some of their ability made people wonder why some who were seriously impressing didn't manage a call up.

Raheem Sterling's talents were particularly talked about amongst Liverpool fans. He was a breathe of fresh air to the club and his performances for the youth side had fans crying out for his call up.

Although he did make his debut under Kenny Dalglish, it was late on in the season. It was a very poor campaign for the Reds and a player with pace and an eye for goal was just what the fans wanted.

All that changed when Brendan Rodgers took over at the club. He immediately gave Sterling a chance and made his first league start against league winners Manchester City.

Sterling had some fantastic performances in a Red shirt for Liverpool last year.

However, he was pushed into the deep end far to quickly.

They lacked experience up top and youngsters Sterling and Borini joined Luis Suarez in attack. Although they improved, their lack of experience was well noticeable.

Rodgers had a squad to build when he took the reigns at Anfield. Signings like Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge have made instant impacts at the club.

However, he's very much looking for the future. There is a lot of potential in the Liverpool side.

Defender Martin Kelly looks a real talent, as does attacker Jordan Ibe.

They're potential needs to be unleashed. Kelly is an immediate cover for Glen Johnson and is just coming back from injury.

Players like Andre Wisdom, Fabio Boroni, Suso and Jack Robinson have joined the first team recently.

It's clear they understand that Rodgers needs to rebuild immediately as well as looking at the future. They've taken it upon themselves to go out on loan and gain experience playing regular first team football.

Suso in particular is shining. He's on loan at La Liga side Almeria where he is blossoming into a very gifted footballer.

Despite making a dozen appearances for Rogers last season, the Northern Irishman was still keen on letting the player develop.

He's certainly done so at Almeria and is currently sitting on five assists.

Despite his games last year he did not score or assist a goal once. Now he's flourishing at Almeria and still has another half season to go, he'll return to Anfield a different player.

Raheem Sterling must join a Premier League or Championship side if he is to improve.

Yes, he did well last season but he was only in the side due to the lack of talent the Reds had.

His England call up was extremely premature and not deserved in the slightest.

When the youngster has the ball, he can be selfish and not look for other team mates. To add to this, his movement is not at the top level.

Jordan Ibe, although only 17 could benefit with a loan move. He's below the pecking order behind Sterling, so chances of him getting into the side are slim.

Recent loan moves have been in particular benefit for England players today.

Both Sturridge and Jack Wilshere were the best things since sliced bread when they emerged onto the football scene.

Yet, when they played first team football they realised that they must improve and get a regular game at a high standard each week.

They both went to Bolton on loan where they had an instant impact. Though they weren't playing alongside the best players in the world, its experience that matters at this stage of careers.

Jonjo Shelvey, his former team mate, had a very successful loan at Blackpool from Anfield and it could be seen last season and this season since his move to Swansea.

Sterling is an immense talent but he has a lot to learn as a footballer. You can practise all you want but experience is the absolute key to everything.


Source: DSG