Raheem Sterling is becoming 'one of the best' in the Liverpool side, claims Kolo Toure
Toure believes that Sterling can test any opponent after impressing in Daniel Sturridge's absence
Tuesday 07 January 2014
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes a confident Raheem Sterling will provide a test for any opponent.
The 19-year-old has started the last nine matches for the Reds, scoring three times, after taking the chance offered by Daniel Sturridge's ankle sprain.
It represents something of a comeback for the youngster, who began last season in irresistible form before tailing off in the final few months and failing to pick things up for the new campaign.
His second-half performance in the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Oldham, where he provided the cross for Iago Aspas's opener before having his shot deflected in by James Tarkowski late on, provided a glimpse of his talents, and Toure thinks the youngster is producing on a more consistent basis now.
"For me at the moment Raheem is one of the best players in our team," said the Ivory Coast international.
"I play against him every day in training. Every time I go up against him it's always tough.
"He can beat any player in this league with his pace and skill. He's very strong and compact.
"He works so hard for the team and this boy certainly has a very bright future.
"He's playing more games now and when you play a number of games in a row you get a lot of confidence.
"For a young player like that to be playing at that level is amazing.
"He always puts the effort into his training and always gives 100 per cent in every game.
"You can see the impact he's having on games, which is very important for us."
Sterling admits he is happy with his football and that has shown over recent weeks as his performances have grown in their effectiveness.
"I'm enjoying it massively and the manager has put his trust in me to put me out every week so far," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"Hopefully I can deliver on the pitch and get some more assists and goals for the team."
Victory over Oldham set up an away tie against either Bournemouth or Burton and Toure said even with a squad relatively low on numbers, an extended cup run would not derail their challenge for a top-four finish in the league.
"The players here are very hungry and want to play games. I think the squad is strong enough to cope," he added.
"At training everyone is working really hard - young players and the more experienced players.
"We all want to play and do our best and I don't think having a good cup run would have any affect our challenge for the top four.
"It can be tough if you are in Europe and you have to play every two or three days.
"Then you have to change the team but we haven't had that. We haven't had too many games.
"To have the FA Cup is really important. We'll give 100 per cent as we all want to play games."
Latest in Sport
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt: Examining the Impact of 'Taker's WWE WrestleMania return
Paul Scholes: Manchester City paid the price for not dealing with Barcelona's Sergio Busquets
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho's attempt to influence football's decision-makers is not working. In fact, it may have backfired
Piers Morgan 'hurt' after Arsenal legend Bob Wilson questions his support for the Gunners and labels him a 'pompous individual'
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit