'The Magician' tipped to become next Anfield hero

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Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling has seen his stock rise dramatically in the past few days.

On Monday, the 16-year-old scored five times as Liverpool under 18s routed Southend 9-0 in the FA Youth Cup and now finds himself on the verge of making an historic senior debut for the Reds.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was in the stands at Anfield to witness Sterling's goalscoring feat and promptly drafted him into the first team squad for this evening's Europa League tie against Sparta Prague.

If Sterling plays tonight at the Generali Arena he will become the youngest player to ever represent the Liverpool senior side, trumping the record of 16 years and 250 days held by youth team colleague Jack Robinson by 182 days.

The England under 17 international's rise to prominence has seen him gather praise from a number of notable admirers - most recently from former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson - and has now been backed to make a big impact at Anfield.


Queen's Park Rangers centre of excellence manager, Steve Gallen, tutored Sterling during his time with the London club and believes Liverpool have captured an incredibly exciting prospect.

"We always knew he was good," Gallen told the Daily Mail. "He had many nicknames when he played for us. One of them was simply 'The Magician'. Another was 'Raheem Park Rangers' because sometimes he would carry the team on his own.

"I moved him up to the under 16s when he was 14 and he was the best player on the pitch. He came on as a sub against Millwall and there was this long ball from the goalkeeper. He watched it drop over his shoulder and volleyed it straight into the top corner. I was glad no scouts were there that day.

"This became normal. His ability is frightening. Balance, speed, awareness. No-one I've ever seen compares to him. He's a fantastic player and I really hope he does well [at Liverpool]."

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