About three years ago I watched a youth game at QPR and a young man stood out from the rest even at that age; his name is Raheem Sterling.
His touch, vision, and skill were to put it mildly, amazing!
To my disappointment he was sold to Liverpool in February 2010 for a reported fee of £600,000 but with add-ons that could rise to as much as £5 million.
At the time the QPR youth set up wasn’t great and I didn’t blame the young man for wanting to better himself. I’m just glad he had seven good years with QPR.
Sterling scored his first goal for Liverpool's youth team in a friendly against Hibernian in a 2–2 draw, coming off the bench and scoring a late equaliser.
After all the friendlies, his first Premier Academy League match was a 2–2 draw against Aston Villa. His first league win was at home to Bristol City in a 3–0 win on 28 August 2010.
On 15 December, Sterling scored his first FA Youth Cup goal for Liverpool's youth team in a 4–0 win over Notts County with Sterling netting the third.
On 14 February 2011, Sterling scored five goals for Liverpool's youth team in a 9–0 win over Southend United in the FA Youth Cup; it was practically the Raheem Sterling show.
On 24 March 2012, Sterling made his senior Liverpool debut as a substitute in a league match against Wigan Athletic aged 17 years and 107 days, becoming the second-youngest player ever to play for the club.
On 1 May he made his second appearance, again as a substitute, against Fulham. On the final home game of the season, he made another substitute appearance in a 4-1 win against Chelsea.
Now with Brendan Rodgers at the helm at Liverpool I can see nothing but a very bright future for the man from Kingston, Jamaica.
The better news is he plays for the England youth set up and I can see him taking both the Premier League and the international stage by storm. Let's just hope he gets his chances this season.
image: © kong niffe