Raheem Sterling: Henderson wants Liverpool team-mate to stay

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Milner signing fantastic - Henderson

Republic of Ireland v England (friendly)

Venue:
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Date:
Sunday, 7 June
Kick-off:
13:00 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

Jordan Henderson hopes team-mate Raheem Sterling will settle his contract dispute with Liverpool, where he could "blossom as a player".

The winger has rejected a new deal but Reds boss Brendan Rogers expects the 20-year-old to see out the remaining two years of his contract at Anfield.

Henderson, who could play alongside Sterling for England on Sunday, also dismissed criticism of his team-mate.

"He is not who people think he is," said the 24-year-midfielder.

'I can't fault him as a person or player'

Sterling has caused controversy by rejecting a new £100,000-a-week contract with the club while his agent Aidy Ward reportedly said the player will not sign a new deal even if he was offered "£900,000 a week".

Henderson, speaking to Radio 5 live's John Murray, said: "He gets a bit of criticism because of how things have been dealt with, but I know him better as a person.

"I could not fault him as a person or a player. He is a great lad and gives everything for the team.

"For such a young lad he is so mature and does not let the outside world affect him.

"His work ethic is amazing. He is improving all the time. I hope we can keep him at Liverpool for many years, he can blossom here and become a top player."

'Milner a fantastic signing'

Liverpool were thrashed 6-1 on the final day of the Premier League season to end a disappointing campaign for Rodgers' side which saw them fail to qualify for the Champions League and lose an FA Cup semi-final to Aston Villa.

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Sterling not 'money-grabbing 20-year-old'

But Henderson, who often deputised as captain for the now departed Steven Gerrard, thinks the team will learn from their mistakes.

He is also relishing the prospect of playing with new signing and fellow England international James Milner, who has signed from Manchester City.

"The result at Stoke was not acceptable and we know as players it was embarrassing for us and the club," said Henderson.

"It was a very up and down season, very disappointing but a lot of the younger lads will be able to learn from the experience.

"Milner is a fantastic signing, not only as a player for his quality but as person in the dressing room, on the training field and the experience he has got - it is a massive signing."

'No such thing as a friendly'

England are unbeaten in nine games and have not lost since their defeat to Uruguay at the World Cup in Brazil just under a year ago.

They visit Republic of Ireland in Dublin for a friendly on Sunday afternoon, and Henderson said: "I do not think it will be like a friendly. We are unbeaten and want to keep that run going as long as possible, it doesn't matter if it is a friendly or a qualifier.

"We want a win against Ireland, we need to be winning. The Scotland game was similar. The atmosphere that day was brilliant, it was a good performance form the team and we hope for the same on Sunday."

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