Reds starlet to be made available on loan in January transfer window.
A host of Premier League clubs are expected to battle it out for Raheem Sterling this January, with Liverpool set to allow the youngster to leave the club on loan, CaughtOffside understands.
The 18-year-old has long been rated as one of the best young players coming through at Anfield since he was snapped up for their youth side from Queens Park Rangers in 2010, though he has struggled for consistency since becoming a regular for the senior side.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been keen to give the teenage winger a chance to shine in the Premier League, but feels now that the best next step for Sterling could be a loan move to another Premier League side for the remainder of the season.
With the Reds chasing Champions League qualification and possibly the title, Rodgers is keen to strengthen his side this January and has wingers such as Arda Turan and Jeremy Menez on his shortlist for when the transfer window re-opens, which would likely mean less playing time for Sterling at this stage.
A regular for the England Under-21s, Sterling also has one cap for the senior side, and may also feel it would be good for him to play more regular first-team football ahead of next summer’s World Cup, when he will be hoping to be in with a chance of making Roy Hodgson’s squad for the tournament in Brazil.
The likes of Southampton, Stoke, Swansea and West Brom could all make offers for Sterling, as the same teams are currently also considering a loan move for Manchester United starlet Wilfried Zaha, a similar type of player who is also struggling for regular first-team action at his club.
However, with Zaha reportedly preferring a move to Newcastle, Sterling could become the focus of these four clubs’ attentions, as they seek the signing of an exciting English talent to improve their options on the flanks.
Sterling can also play upfront, and his versatility and attacking threat will appeal to these teams as they all have ambitions of finishing in the top half of the table this year.
Undoubtedly one of the brightest prospects in the English game at the moment, it could be a real boost to see what Sterling can do at a lower-level club, without the same expectation that has been thrust upon him from such a young age, and this move could certainly benefit Liverpool in the long run.