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Gerrard is sure RAheem will do right thing

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STEVEN Gerrard believes that Raheem Sterling will make the right career move if he commits to Anfield for the long haul.

"I hope he signs a new contract at the club because I think this club is perfect for him, certainly for the next few years," said the Liverpool skipper.

"He's going to play most weeks, the fans love him here. He can progress here and become a top, top player here so I hope the people around him give him the right advice because he should stay here."

"He's great to watch, great to play with, he's got that pace. When you look up he's always giving you an option and that's what I've thrived on throughout my career at Liverpool with the likes of Fernando Torres, Michael Owen," added Gerrard.

"There's nothing better as a midfielder when you look up and see pace running in behind. I saw it on numerous occasions (against Bournemouth in midweek) and hopefully it will continue because it stretches teams and creates chances."

Sterling's brace in a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Wednesday was a real pressure reliever after a run of poor results.

"You've got to be able to have that (versatility) in your locker if you want to be top drawer," he said.

"Raheem's got potential to be top drawer for sure. He took a lot of stick after the weekend but I thought his all-round performance was magnificent, the only thing that was missing was a finish and that came (against Bournemouth). The exciting thing for all of us is that he's English and going to be a top, top player. I think he can play anywhere along the front, he's that intelligent. He's got to keep learning, he's got to keep wanting it."

Sterling's performance against Bournemouth was a boost for Brendan Rodgers who promptly tipped Eddie Howe's outfit to join Liverpool in the top flight next season after eventually find a way to beat them.

Having survived a couple of early scares Liverpool took control and a double from Sterling either side of Lazar Markovic's first Reds goal set up a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final with Chelsea next month.

One of few negatives on a positive night for Rodgers and Liverpool was the half-time withdrawal of defender Dejan Lovren.

Lovren played the opening 45 minutes as part of a back three alongside fellow centre-backs Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel, with Glen Johnson having been sidelined following his injury at Old Trafford.

The former Southampton centre-back had to be replaced by Mamadou Sakho. The Frenchman, who was making his first Liverpool appearance since September, is on stand-by to feature against Arsenal tomorrow if Lovren fails to make a swift recovery.

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has warned Liverpool counterpart Simon Mignolet it will be a "hard road back" after the latter lost his place.

Rodgers said the Belgium international was set for an indefinite period on the sidelines after leaving him out against Manchester United last Sunday.

Growing criticism of Mignolet's inability to command his area and poor distribution - which some blamed for Liverpool's jittery defence - eventually took its toll and he has been replaced by Brad Jones.

"I know he is a Red but I feel for Simon. It is hard being a goalkeeper," said the American.

"It is not easy. It is a confidence position. Sometimes there is no way back. You cannot come on and play the last 20-30 minutes and put a good shift in."


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