England captain Steven Gerrard has told Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling that he can join him at this summer’s World Cup if he can maintain his current form.
The 19-year-old winger was in outstanding form during Sunday’s 3-5 win at Stoke, and his skipper believes he has every chance of making it to Brazil.
Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo: “I said to Raheem after the game: ‘You keep your performance at that level and you are going to make it very difficult for Roy Hodgson not to take you’.
“Hopefully he can build on the confidence from his recent performances and finish the season really strongly.
“He’s in top form at a fantastic time. I’m obviously very disappointed for Theo with his injury but I’m sure Roy Hodgson is looking out for who is going to replace him and Raheem’s performances of late have been sensational.
“There’s many candidates – Aaron Lennon is playing well, Andros Townsend, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back. But if you are looking at like for like, pace and threat down the wing, someone who can make, score and create, then Raheem has got a fantastic chance.
“He’s got all the tools to do it, it’s up to him now. If you are a full-back you don’t want to play against pace and especially when it’s coming at you all the time.
“Raheem keeps going and going, even if he makes a mistake. He’s a fit lad who is relentless and he’s a team player too.
“Everyone knows Roy Hodgson likes a wide player who can defend as well. He’s got everything going for him. Now it’s up to him to keep putting in that level of performance.”
Sterling picked up his sole England cap to date in 2012, but drifted out of Roy Hodgson’s plans when his form dipped in the second-half of last season.
But he could now be in line for a recall, Gerrard believes.