Birthdate: 8 December 1994
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Bought from: Queens Park Rangers (youth)
Signed for LFC: £500,000, 27.02.2010
International debut: 14.11.2012 vs. Sweden
International caps: 1/0
Liverpool debut: 24.03.2012
Last appearance: 04.12.2013
Debut goal: 20.10.2012
Last goal: 04.12.2013
Contract expiry: Signed 21.12.2012
Win ratio: 46% W: 23 D: 11 L: 16
LFC league games/goals: 36 / 3
Total LFC games/goals: 50 / 4
Sterling joined Liverpool as a 15-year-old from the youth set-up at Queens Park Rangers on 27 February 2010. His family moved from Jamaica when he was seven. Sterling had been featuring regularly for Rangers' u-18 team at that time as well as the reserves. There is a tendency to exaggerate the potential of young promising players like Sterling and the hype machine certainly went into full swing when he scored five goals for Liverpool's youth side in a 9-0 FA Cup win over Southend in February 2011. Following his performance he was included in the club's senior squad that travelled to Prague ahead of their Europa League contest on 17 February 2011. Sterling, who had to have a guardian following him to Prague as he was so young, ultimately didn't make the bench but the experience must have been valuable. Finally, after much speculation, he made his Liverpool first-team debut when he came on as a late substitute against Wigan Athletic at Anfield towards the end of a 2-1 Premier League defeat on 24 March 2012. Two more substitute appearances followed in the end-of-season matches against the west London clubs Fulham and Chelsea.
Since Brendan Rodgers took over as boss at Liverpool Sterling has become a vital player in the starting line-up and his rapid progress earned him a call-up to the England u-21's In October and on 14 November 2012, at 17 years and 332 days, he became the fifth-youngest England player when making his debut against Sweden in Stockholm. Sterling signed a new and long-term five-year contract with Liverpool just before Christmas 2012.
Sterling appeared in thirty-six of the club's fifty-four competitive matches in 2012/13. But the majority of those came before New Year and he wasn't used so frequently in the second half of the season, partly because he had a thigh injury but possibly also through loss of form and confidence and maybe because he had a court case hanging over him for a matter which was eventually dropped when a witness failed to turn up in court. The winger will probably feel that appearing in over 60% of the Premier League fixtures marked considerable progress in his professional career. But his form fluctuated and he only scored twice, in home matches against Reading and Sunderland. Passing his 18th birthday midway through the season, this young man still has a lot to prove despite his recognition at international level.