Jordan Henderson has described Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling as “a great professional” and he is hopeful that the in-demand forward will commit his future to the Merseysiders this summer.
Henderson spoke out on the future of the 20-year-old as the pair prepare for England’s friendly international against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin ahead of next Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who has taken over the captain’s armband from the outgoing Steven Gerrard at Anfield, is well aware of Sterling’s failure to pen a new contract offer from Liverpool which has resulted in some criticism aimed at him from a section of the club’s fans.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all been linked with big-money bids to sign him this summer, but Henderson is still hoping Sterling will stay put and continue being an important member of Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ team next term.
He said: “He’s obviously left his future to whoever’s representing him in regards to what he wants to do.
“But for me, Raheem Sterling is a fantastic player. He’s been brilliant for England and I hope he will stay at Liverpool.”
Henderson added: “One thing I love about him is that he’s a great person and a great lad.
“He’s getting a lot of criticism because of the contract situation but he’s first-class as a person. All the lads love him whether it’s with England or Liverpool.
“He’s a great professional. His work ethic is fantastic. He works as hard as he can and wants to improve all the time.”
Liverpool are 19.00 to be Premier League outright winners next season.