(Reuters) - Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers says he has been impressed by Raheem Sterling’s desire to be one of the best players in the world as his team prepare to face the Manchester City forward in the Premier League on Monday.
Rodgers handed Sterling his Liverpool debut at the age of 17 before the England forward moved to City in 2015 and established himself as one of the best players in the top division.
“What I loved about Raheem was that, for a young boy, he knew what he wanted to be,” Rodgers told reporters.
“When I ask young players what is it they want to achieve, he wanted to be one of the best players in the world - at that age (17). And that was where he was unique, because sometimes the British players may not have that ambition.
“He had a great base at Liverpool and then went on. He’s taken his game to a level where he’s clearly one of the best players in the world.”
Sterling has continued to flourish under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 17 league goals in 32 league appearances this season.
His performances have earned him the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award and he was named the Professional Footballers’ Association Young Player of the Year. City are top of the league table, a point ahead of Liverpool with two games left.
“He’s not even near his peak yet. In terms of being 24 he’s still at that asset age and once he gets to 28 or 29 he’ll have played so many more games and had so many more experiences,” Rodgers added.
“But his experiences now are going to make him even better.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond