• Premier League

England might put brakes on Sterling

ESPN staff
January 31, 2013

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is set to be named in Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 squad on Thursday, seemingly increasing the chances of him going to the European U21 Championships this summer.

Sterling, 18, won his first senior England cap in a friendly against Sweden last November, but his selection for the nation's highest youth-level side to play the same opponents at Walsall next Tuesday raises the prospect that he will spend much of his post-season away on international duty in Israel.

Jonjo Shelvey, another Liverpool player, and Wilfried Zaha, due to join Manchester United from Crystal Palace in July, are also set to be picked by Pearce despite winning senior caps.

However, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will be selected for Roy Hodgson's senior squad ahead of next Wednesday's prestige friendly against Brazil at Wembley to celebrate the FA's 150th anniversary.

Wilshere had his call-up to represent the U21s at the 2009 tournament in Denmark blocked by his club Arsenal. It remains to be seen whether Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will do the same for Sterling - who signed a new, long-term deal at the club in December - amid concerns of his teenage starlet being overworked at such a young age.

Sterling has started 19 of Liverpool's 24 Premier League games so far this season, with another seven in cup competitions in what has been his breakthrough campaign at Anfield.

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