Steven Gerrard: Raheem Sterling can become a Liverpool great

Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling
Steven Gerrard has offered sage words to Raheem Sterling, who has been playing in Liverpool's senior team since 2012

Ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says Raheem Sterling has the chance to become the club's "number one player" by committing his future to the Reds.

Sterling, 20, has been criticised for wanting to leave Liverpool, recently rejecting a £100,000-a-week contract.

The forward has two years left on his deal and Gerrard, who has ended his Anfield career to play in America, has urged his ex-team-mate to stay put.

"Liverpool is the place for him to learn for the next few years," he said.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge:
"It was not the England fans who booed Sterling in Sunday's friendly draw with Republic of Ireland. Ireland is football crazy and Liverpool have a huge market of fans over there, along with Manchester United. "There were around 15-20,000 Irish Liverpool fans in the stadium and they vented their anger."

England international Sterling, who has been linked with Manchester City and Arsenal, was booed by some fans during Sunday's goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Gerrard added: "I think there's a position there for him to be the number one player in the Liverpool team and really have that adulation from supporters that the likes of Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres have experienced.

"I don't want to see him go to another team and just become a squad player and just another number in the team, I think he deserves to be playing every week."

"Liverpool can be competitive again"

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Despite a disappointing season which ended without any trophies, ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard - who heads to the MLS this summer to join Los Angeles Galaxy - is confident his former side has a good chance of providing a stronger challenge for honours in 2015-16.

Brendan Rodgers's assistants, Mike Marsh and Colin Pascoe, both left the club recently, with ex-Red Sami Hyypia and former Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen linked with joining Rodgers's backroom staff.

Player recruitment has also started early, with the addition of England midfielder James Milner and striker Danny Ings from Burnley.

"I don't think problems at Liverpool are as big as people are making out," added Gerrard, who was speaking at the BT Sport Champions League launch on Tuesday.

"I think there's a fantastic core of players there that, with the right additions in the staff and playing staff, I think Liverpool can be very competitive next year. "

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