Raheem Sterling has been urged to rediscover the form that saw him shine for Liverpool and England during the 2013/14 season by his international manager Roy Hodgson.
The 20-year-old seems to have been affected by the contract situation at Anfield and his displays since his interview with BBC Sport at the start of April have been nothing less than average.
He failed to shine for the national team during the goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday afternoon and was substituted soon after the hour mark.
Despite his difficulties on the pitch, he has been given a vote of confidence by Hodgson, who has no plans to drop the youngster from the starting XI:
“He is going through a bad time publicly but I have no reservations about playing him,” the England boss said after the game [via BBC Sport].
“He has done some fantastic things for us. Against Ireland he maybe did not hit those heights but it will take a lot before I and the English national team lose faith in him,” Hodgson added.
Sterling has come in for criticism from a number of former Liverpool greats, who have responded negatively to claims that the youngster wants to leave the club in the summer.
His agent Aidy Ward suggested to Standard Sport last month that Sterling would not sign a new deal at Anfield, which in turn has linked the player with moves to some of European football’s biggest clubs.
Both Manchester clubs are reportedly interested, while Mail Sport have claimed former Reds boss Rafa Benitez wants to make Sterling one of his summer signings at Real Madrid.