Gianfranco Zola believes the manner in which Brendan Rodgers has broadened Raheem Sterling's footballing horizons this season has been the key to the winger's recent resurgence.

Since being handed the chance to return to regular football at Hull City on December 1, Sterling has gone from strength to strength for the Reds.

A key component of the team's surge to the Barclays Premier League summit, Sterling has exceeded all expectations with a series of powerful, intuitive displays.

The youngster has operated everywhere in that time; at the tip of the diamond, out on both flanks, at right-wing back as well as foraying into a more central forward role for Rodgers' side.

Zola, who made more than 300 appearances for the Reds' rivals, Chelsea, insists such variety has helped hone all aspects of Sterling's game and for that, he congratulates the manager.   

"Look what Rodgers has done with Raheem Sterling," Zola told FourFourTwo magazine. "He has obviously brought him on and given him confidence but he has also taught him different ways of playing, made him more tactically aware.

"Football is about knowledge. The more ways you know how to play the game, the more possibilities you have to achieve your goals. Rodgers has played Sterling in a number of attacking positions and that will make him even better.

"Rodgers is a coach's coach. I don't know him well but his football is my football. The football I like. His team plays very well."