Academy director Frank McParland insists size was never a problem for Raheem Sterling when he spotted him playing for QPR before he made the move to Anfield.
At 5ft 6, Sterling is one of the smallest players in the Barclays Premier League; however, size has certainly been no hindrance to the youngster, who has stood tall against some of the league's finest.
In games against Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton, the 18-year-old has continually defied expectations to turn in impressive attacking performances in his first senior season.
After putting pen to paper on a new deal on Friday, the England international is set to grace Anfield for many years to come.
"If he was a centre-back we would be a bit worried about his height because he's the same size as me," joked McParland. "But out on the wing or as a second striker, where he has played for England as well, I don't think the size is massively important.
"He is physically very strong - for a young boy he is very strong. We have been working on his core and his strength since the day he came in here. You are always going to be the size you are, you can't change that, but you can get stronger, you can get a little bit quicker.
"We did a stat on him when we played against Crystal Palace in the FA Youth Cup tie at Anfield which went to extra-time, and in the first couple of minutes he did a high intensity sprint and he did the same in the 119th minute, and the first-team staff analysis team couldn't believe he did it again.
"That was unbelievable. So he did more sprints in that game than most Premier League players have done, and for a 16-year-old kid at the time that was unbelievable."
Having the pace and strength to excel in the Premier League is one thing, but according to McParland Sterling has another ingredient which is crucial - bravery.
"He's not scared of anything," explained McParland. "He's not scared of challenges. You see some of the challenges sometimes in the Premier League and you wonder sometimes how he will cope with it.
"Going back to his very first game - he had only been with us a week - and we played Everton at Home Farm and we had a lot of people watching a game.
"He was clattered four or five times and obviously people wanted to make a name for themselves, but he ended up scoring a goal, winning a penalty and we won 4-3. He's very brave."
The youngster was nurtured by Rodolfo Borrell at the Academy, who was U18s coach when Sterling arrived at the club from QPR in 2010.
As Sterling graduated to the U21s, so too did Rodolfo, who became reserves manager and continued to guide the youngster.
In the summer of 2012, new manager Brendan Rodgers took over where the Academy left off and allowed Sterling to thrive in the senior side.
He added: "Rodolfo has taught him a lot and he's been a major influence on him on the pitch.
"The next major influence is the manager. The boss has taken him in, he took him on the tour of America and saw him at close quarters and has realised he has got a decent player there.
"He has put a lot of time into Raheem. I can tell just by watching the boy play now in the first team I think he is tactically a lot better than when he was with us.
"The manager has spent a lot of time with him and has done fantastic."
Recalling the first time he set eyes on Sterling during a scouting trip, McParland added: "One of our scouts had seen him play and I had to go and watch him and make a decision on him.
"I watched him play for England and he did really well. We then started into negotiations with QPR. You could tell from the first minute we saw him that he had extraordinary pace and he was as quick as I had ever seen.
"To play in the Premier League it's one of the main things that you need. He could take people on, one v one, and there's not hundreds of players who can do that in the top flight, so that attribute was fantastic.
"The main thing is the kid loves playing football and from day one when he came training with us to the present day when he is playing in the first team, he has still got the same enthusiasm. He has always been focused on his football on the pitch."
Liverpool's No.31 was handed his debut by Kenny Dalglish during the Anfield defeat by Wigan Athletic on March 24, and it was a proud moment for everyone at the Academy.
He added: "Kenny gave him his debut and when he was the manager he spoke to us a lot about him. I thought he was ready, I really did.
"I would watch him play for the reserves and in training every day and it wasn't that it was too easy for him, but he was certainly ready to make that step up.
"To be fair, the kid was training with the first team anyway and also travelling away with them for the matches. He warmed up with the players before the Arsenal game even though he wasn't on the bench so we were preparing him right, but I think if we had thrown him in too early we could have lost him. I think the way the club, the Academy and the first team have managed him has been really good."
McParland was also quick to pay tribute to Sterling's family and in particular his mum Nadine who has played a big role in helping his development at Anfield.
"Raheem was with house parents for about 18 months and they did an absolutely unbelievable job," he added.
"Phil Roscoe (assistant academy manager and head of education and welfare) and I worked very closely with him off the field and I remember in his early days with us we thought he was home sick. It really worried us and he became really quiet and I don't think he was enjoying things as much, so we addressed it really quickly.
"Phil and I spoke to his mum and we said to her we think you need to move to Liverpool. She was fully behind it and Nadine has been absolutely magnificent in his career. She has supported him so well.
"She dropped everything in London, she got a job in Liverpool and she now lives in a house in Liverpool. She brought all of the family up.
"To make a player it's not just about having a good player - it's about everything around him. It's about finding the right player, having the best coaches to work with him, having the best people and structure around them to help them as in the house parents, Phil and Clive Cook (education and welfare officer) who are doing an unbelievable job with our players, and then giving them a proper games programme which we are doing.
"I look at our recruitment in two different ways. I look at the local boys we bring in at the age of nine and work really hard with them with the programme every day, and I have to say if I could have 100 per cent of them I'd have them all day and I would.
"But we are Liverpool Football Club and we have to go out there into the world and try and get the best players in, and he was probably the best player available that we could have got that year and we got him."