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Steven Gerrard excited by ‘phenomenal talent’

England's Raheem Sterling during the International Friendly at the Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire England's Raheem Sterling during the International Friendly at the Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Friday, November 16, 2012
7:10 AM

England skipper Steven Gerrard has hailed 17-year-old debutant Raheem Sterling as “a phenomenal talent” who will soon be playing for his country on a regular basis.

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Sterling was at fault with the first of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s four goals in Sweden’s 4-2 win over England in last night’s friendly international at the Friends Arena.

But the Liverpool youngster responded by playing a part in the build-up to England’s two goals from Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker and looked at home on the international stage.

Gerrard, who won his 100th cap, said: “There were positives. We controlled the game until the 75th minute and you had a 17-year-old making his debut who I thought was brilliant.

“When I was 17, I was an apprentice at Liverpool cleaning boots in the changing room.

“It goes to show how far he has come in a short space of time.

“He put his mistake behind him. It’s a learning curve. If there is one positive from making a mistake, it’s a friendly match and it doesn’t hurt you that much.

“He will learn from that. He has learnt really quickly in a Liverpool shirt and he will do the same for England.

“It won’t be long before he is a regular and he is going to be a phenomenal talent.”

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