Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and veteran defender Jamie Carragher both believe that Raheem Sterling has a long future at the club after a superb first competitive start against Hearts.

The Reds secured a 1-0 win against the Scottish side in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying match and it was exciting young winger Sterling that caught the eye with an all actio0n display.

Despite being just 17-years-old Sterling was one of the stand-out performers for Liverpool yesterday as he continually caused problems down the right flank, by getting to the touchline and cutting inside to fire efforts on goal with his stronger right foot.

Raheem Sterling
Sterling in action against Hearts in the Europa League [Reuters]

Sterling tested Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald on a number of occasions and Rodgers hinted that there would be more opportunities for the youngster in the first team.

"He's very good at the one versus one. He had a good test tonight, the right-back did well, but I thought young Raheem showed some great moments," Rodgers told ITV, as reported on

"Tactically he's improving all the time, his pressing was good, he was starting to read the game and show good football intelligence, and obviously when he then has the ball he's really exciting.

"He arrived in some good areas and was a real threat for us. He's a part of the group, he's training with us every day, and the idea is to get him experience."

Liverpool's captain on the night, Carrgher, was also quick to highlight the display of Sterling, and he believes he suits the new system being employed under Rodgers.

"I think the way the manager wants to play is with wide men and that suits Raheem down to the ground," Carragher told Liverpool's official website.

"He's come in and he's done very well. He's only a 17-year-old and it looks like he's got a big future at the club."

Carragher was also quick to point out that the Liverpool academy is once again beginning to produce, with young striker Adam Morgan also coming off the bench against Hearts.

"This club's got a great tradition of bringing young players through and we brought another one on tonight in Adam Morgan. He's also come through the Academy and Raheem's got a few starts now this season."