Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers has already overseen the progression of a number of Liverpool youngsters.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is cautious over the development of Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling despite revelling in their continued progression.

While Ibe is on the peripheral of the Reds first team, Sterling enjoyed his breakthrough season last term and won a full England cap against Sweden last November.

Ibe, who joined from Wycombe Wanderers in 2011, and Sterling have been regulars in Liverpool's Under-21 side this season but both players were involved in the League Cup win over Notts County.

And despite the pair's undoubted potential, Rodgers says both players will take time to grow.

"Jordon is only 17 years of age and even Raheem is only 18. We can't forget that," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"We don't want to rush these young players' development, even though we want young players to come through and we want to put them in the first team. We've done that over the course of the last year or so.

"But it is also important to understand that it comes at different stages for some players.

"Look at Raheem's progress and what he's done in the last year or so," Rodgers added. "He has propelled himself from a youth team and reserve player to an England player.

"But they still have a long way to go in their professional careers and at this stage we're just looking to manage that and make sure we nurture that for the future.

"They understand that if you are focused and playing well, then you will play, but in the modern game it can be difficult for young players to break through.

"Over the last year or so they have seen that they are going to get an opportunity and if they can devote their life, be professional and take the opportunities when they come then they are going to have an excellent chance.

"You just have to give them the time and understanding. There are not going to be too many 17 or 18-year-olds ready for the first team, but we want them to be at 20 or 21."

Rodgers has seldom held back in giving young players first-team opportunities at Liverpool with John Flanagan, Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom, who has joined Derby County on loan, among those players to be involved this season.

The Northern Irishman's commitment to promoting players from the Liverpool academy is an encouraging trend alongside club owner's Fenway Sports Group's increasing investment in the transfer window.