Teenage Barclays Premier League star Raheem Sterling has been charged with assaulting a woman.
The 18-year-old Liverpool and England winger was summonsed to Liverpool Youth Court today on a charge of common assault.
The Jamaica-born footballer, who lives in Woolton, Liverpool, did not attend the hearing and solicitor Mick Hogan appeared on his behalf.
Police said a 27-year-old woman, who is known to the footballer, suffered "slight" facial injuries during an alleged incident in Toxteth, Liverpool, on November 2.
During today's short hearing Mr Hogan told the court that Sterling denies the allegation.
He said the alleged offence took place when the footballer was 17 but, as he turned 18 in December, the matter should be transferred to the adult courts.
Mr Hogan said: "I do have instructions to the effect that Mr Sterling will be pleading not guilty to this charge.
"He is aware of today's hearing and the club are very supportive."
The move to the adult courts was supported by the prosecution and Chairman of the Bench Brian Upton adjourned the matter to Liverpool Magistrates' Court on February 22.
Sterling made his senior international debut for England last November against Sweden and has earned plaudits for his performances for Liverpool this season.