Either Brendan Rodgers is trying to play smart or willing to talk business come January in his refusal to get carried away by the exploits of Liverpool's teenage prodigy Raheem Sterling.
The England Under-21 winger has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects to descend on the Premier League from the Kop this season.
Sterling carved a niche for himself by becoming the second youngest top-flight scorer in Liverpool history when his crisp finish against Reading on Saturday securing their first home Barclays Premier League win of the season.
"At 17, he’s still got an awful long way to go, so it’s important I try to manage him properly. We want to have him here as a legend for many years. We don’t want him getting carried away with all the adulation and then find, at 21, he’s washed up and everyone wants him out," Rodgers was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/VrEIMd).
"Right up until now, Raheem has been brilliant. He’s got a lovely way about him. He’s made the transition from the academy very well, and it’s brilliant for the supporters, because they love to see young players come in and do so well. We will be doing our utmost to make sure that it continues."
Clearly he does not want the youngster to get carried away having already ticked hiim off publicly at half-time for his over-exhuberance in the 2-2 home draw with Manchester City.
"The biggest thing with me is just maintaining the hunger that he’s got now, because you see when he’s got that, and he’s learning and developing, that he can be a really top player. It’s a long way to go for him but, up to now, he’s been a revelation," said Rodgers acutely aware about his potential worth other clubs be interested in him.
Rodgers could cash in especially if Liverpool does not finish among the top six and Sterling shows ambition of wanting to play Champions League football.
Liverpool are languishing in 12th position now.
The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United will be watching closely, while Arsenal will be best suited to harness the prodigious talents of Liverpool's brightest star.