Raheem Sterling Signs Long-Term Deal to Remain with Liverpool

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Raheem Sterling of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on December 1, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling signed a five-year contract on Friday to remain with his current club for the long term, according to a report from Liverpool FC's official website.

Sterling is just 18 years old, and the investment in him looks well worth it given his upside. The youngster expressed his thoughts after signing the deal:

It's every 18-year-old's dream. I'm just really grateful to be at such a big club like this.

There's a lot more to be done. I haven't begun yet, as the manager has said. Hopefully I can kick on after the New Year and try to do my best for the team and the football club.

It's quite a jump in salary for the teenager, who was earning about £2,000 a week on his junior contract and now will earn roughly £30,000, according to Ben Smith of BBC.com.

As Liverpool FC's report points out, Sterling is a definite prodigy, who became the youngest player ever to start on the England national team in a match earlier this year against Sweden.

Sterling has notched 25 appearances for Brendan Rodgers' club this season.

Smith's report also documents, though, that Rodgers is slightly concerned about the sudden exposure that Sterling has had to the English Premier League. He fears that throwing such a talented player into the fire this early—and frequently—may harm his development.

But Sterling has proven to be capable of handling the big stage, and Liverpool has to be thankful that their intriguing young prospect stayed faithful to their club and didn't bolt to perceptibly greener pastures in the pending transfer window.

While the 2012-13 EPL campaign has been somewhat underwhelming for the Reds, as they sit in the middle of the table, the future definitely got brighter just ahead of the weekend with a long-ranging commitment from one of the most promising young players in football.