Raheem Sterling possesses the attributes to reach the highest levels he can imagine, according to Brendan Rodgers, as the Liverpool forward prepares for his first World Cup this summer.

The 19-year-old produced a stunning campaign in 2013-14, translating his boundless natural talent into a series of performances that stupefied opponents and caught the country's attention.

His searing pace and athleticism were matched by a new-found composure and confidence in the attacking third, with the No.31 selecting the right option at the crucial moment with regularity.

Having worked his way back into Rodgers' plans last December, Sterling thrived from a wide starting berth but would conclude the season stationed centrally, at the tip of a diamond system.

The transition seemed effortless and the young Englishman's displays not only helped the Reds claim second place in the Barclays Premier League but ensured a spot in the Three Lions' squad for Brazil.

"Raheem is a very intelligent player," the manager explained to Switching the Play. "He has a good football brain, and great belief in himself.

"At the end of last season [2012-13], we wanted to give him a rest because we shouldn't forget his age - he was dealing with huge demands and we didn't want to burn him out physically and mentally.

"Then, he had to come back and fight for his place, which he has done fantastically. Once he cleared his head, focused on football and remembered that he has all the tools here to become whatever he wants to be, achieving excellence was natural.

"He can replicate what he's done for us with England if he's given the freedom to play fearlessly. It's easy for people to forget that he's still very young because of his mature performances.

"And what's he's achieved this season is fantastic because he's coming up against older, more experienced players and often ones bought for millions and millions of pounds.

"As I've said, Raheem's been one of the most outstanding young players throughout Europe and we just want him to kick on now. He can become as great as he wants to be; we will help him in every aspect."

In recently outlining the profile of players he will target in the transfer window during the coming months, Rodgers stressed the importance of versatility and utilising those who are multi-functional.

Sterling undoubtedly fits into that bracket already; in addition to the forward positions he held on the flank and in the middle last season, an odd cameo at full-back was demanded of him.

Rodgers commented: "It was clear in training that he didn't have to be pigeon-holed into a winger. When he played wide, he was very comfortable coming inside, so that was a good sign.

"He has great instincts, balance and a reading of the game so we would replicate match situations and use him as a 10, and he'd be brilliant.

"Defensively, he is also strong. His strength for such a small player is unmatched, and he has great energy to press and pressure opponents.

"Like with the whole team, everything came together for him; his understanding of the system, his role, confidence, the aggression on the ball and constantly wanting to learn and improve."