Ask Raheem Sterling to explain the reasons behind his ascent to 'arguably the best young player in Europe' and the conversation will almost certainly include a reference to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was moved to favourably compare the No.31 to any of his peers around the continent following the forward's match-deciding brace against Norwich City last month.

Far from prompting surprise, the manager's glowing assertion merely chimed true with a series of displays by the 19-year-old that have helped to catapult his team to the Barclays Premier League summit.

Since returning to the first-team picture in December 2013, few have been able to adequately stop Sterling; the young Englishman has increased his goal tally to double figures and rightly won rave reviews.

His development is, of course, overseen by Rodgers. But his skipper for club and country, Gerrard, has also spoken repeatedly in the past about his personal interest in advising and moulding his younger colleague.

And the level of respect dispatched in the opposite direction is considerable. "He's been there, he's done it and he knows what it's like coming through and being put under pressure," Sterling told FourFourTwo magazine.

"I think he's just advised me to be calm and take it as it goes. He's given me really good advice that I've taken on board and learned from, and it's really helped me. He's a good person to have around you."

Sterling was a central component of the 11-match winning streak racked up by Rodgers' charges across February, March and April, contributing a variety of important strikes and assists.

With the Reds battling at the upper echelons of the Premier League - and potentially a trip to this summer's World Cup on the horizon - the versatile attacker feels he is truly living the dream.

He added: "To play at such a big club like Liverpool is a real dream come true for me, and obviously to play with the likes of Gerrard and [Luis] Suarez is sometimes hard to believe."