Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has used the club’s official warning to send a reminder to England boss Roy Hodgson that he needs to take good care of Raheem Sterling.
The 18-year-old was in scintillating form at the start of last season and has started to show glimpses of his potential again this term.
That’s earned him a call-up to the England senior squad for the third time for the forthcoming qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, and the chance to add to his sole cap to date.
Rodgers is keen that Sterling is looked after while he is with England.
He said: “Of course Raheem is still very young and there is a nurturing process needed there, but I am sure Roy and his staff know that.
“I don’t pick the England team. It’s not a problem of mine but they will be fully aware of the implications of taking a young player and then him not playing for a number of games. With Roy’s experience I am sure they will look after him well.”
But Rodgers can understand why the winger has been called up by Hodgson.
He told the Liverpool website: “Raheem has looked very bright and very sharp for us,” said the boss. “He took his goal against Notts County last week exceptionally well.
“He worked very hard to overcome the thigh injury which forced him to miss the closing months of last season and enjoyed a good pre-season.
“This is a young player who for six months last season was one of the top performers in the Premier League, not just for Liverpool.
“He has shown he’s capable of being here and playing at the top level. For us it’s just about taking the pressure away from him.
“Now he has to demonstrate that ability on a daily basis and when he gets opportunities in games he needs to consistently perform. If he does that then he will have a really bright future.”