Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling catches eye of Roy Hodgson with the World Cup looming

The youngster has grown in stature as the season has progressed

The acronym for Liverpool's forward line is in need of an upgrade. The SAS, (Luis) Suarez and (Daniel) Sturridge, have been joined by another S in Raheem Sterling. This afternoon at the Emirates 3S, SSS, or maybe S Club 3, will seek to repeat last weekend's Premier League demolition of Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Following their efforts closely will be Roy Hodgson, for all three players could be on the pitch when England meet Uruguay in Sao Paulo on 19 June, albeit not all on the same side. The England manager is delighted by Sterling's re-emergence at Liverpool, and hopes it will be followed by a sustained impact at international level.

Sterling had only 13 League appearances behind him when Hodgson capped the then 17-year-old in the November 2012 friendly with Sweden best remembered for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's four-goal salvo. Sterling was one of six debutants, and like the others – Ryan Shawcross, Leon Osman, Wilfried Zaha, Steven Caulker and Carl Jenkinson – then dropped off the international radar. In Sterling's case it was because he lost his club place, his form perhaps affected by his being overplayed in his first senior season.

There were also some off-field distractions, but Sterling is back in the Liverpool team and again showing the pace and trickery which first caught the eye.

"When we played in the game to open the stadium in Stockholm he had burst into the Liverpool team and was doing fantastically well," said Hodgson. "Then he lost his place for a while and almost disappeared off the scene. I remember an Under-21 game when I was very impressed with him but he still hadn't quite got back into the Liverpool team. But since he's been back his form seems to be going up and up and up."

With Theo Walcott injured the return to form of Sterling, is, said Hodgson, welcome; he noted Walcott has missed more internationals under him than he has started, largely due to injuries.

It was Walcott's absence earlier this season that opened the door for Andros Townsend's dramatic arrival on the international scene. The Tottenham flyer and Sterling, said Hodgson, were just two of many contenders on the flanks.

"We're not short of candidates," he said. "The Under-21 team is awash with wide players. Zaha is back in the frame because he's playing football at Cardiff after his time out; [Nathan] Redmond is at Norwich doing very, very well. There's [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Lennon still there. Adam Johnson is another one.

"We really don't rule anyone else as such. [Johnson] has not been selected [recently] because we think we've got others and others have taken precedence – it's not because we have anything against him, far from it."

There is also Tom Ince, now playing regularly in the top flight with Crystal Palace, plus Adam Lallana, who made an impres-sive start to his international career, and Danny Welbeck, who often plays in wide positions for England.

"It's going to be a choice at the end of the day, how many of that type of player do I want to include in the squad and in which case, which ones?

"We have competition in the wide areas, right and left, but doing as well as Raheem is in a top, top team puts a lot of pressure on everybody else, because if you can do at the top of the table with Liverpool then you can do it in an England shirt."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style