Despite exploding onto the scene for Liverpool last season, teenage winger Raheem Sterling looks set to leave Anfield on loan in January and Sporting Lisbon’s Diego Capel is among the top targets to replace the youngster.
Brendan Rodgers has hinted this week that 18-year-old Sterling will have to be patient at Liverpool and show the right attitude if he is to get back into the first team, fuelling speculation he will be allowed to leave the club on loan in January.
Sterling made 36 senior Reds appearances last season, but with Rodgers strengthening again in the summer and the player himself enduring troubles off the pitch, the highly-talented youngster has failed to hit anything like the same heights this term.
Having worked his way onto the fringes of the England team, Sterling has been granted just a solitary Premier League start thus far in 2013/14 and his omission from Roy Hodgson’s latest squad speaks volumes about his stalled progress.
There is likely to be no shortage of suitors willing to give Sterling further first-team experience though, especially among the Premier League’s struggling sides.
However, in order to maintain their impressive start, Rodgers will be conscious of replacing Sterling at Liverpool and in Sporting Lisbon’s Diego Capel, the Northern Irishman may just fall upon a real bargain.
At 25, Capel has won two caps for his native Spain and like Sterling has a very direct approach of running at players, though he has the experience to back it up and chips in with the odd goal as well.
The former Sevilla player only signed for Sporting two years ago, but the Portuguese side are currently experiencing financial difficulties which mean their hand is likely to be forced on possible sales.
Liverpool are currently rated as 7/5 shots to reclaim a top-four spot in the Premier League come May.
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