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?
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 in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there