REJUVENTATED Joe Cole has told Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling he is at the right club to continue growing his fledgling career.
Sterling celebrated his 18th birthday at the weekend but has yet to put pen to paper on a new long-term contract with the Anfield outfit.
The youngster has seen his profile rocket this season after making his full debut for both Liverpool and the senior England side.
While Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers remains convinced Sterling will sign, the delay has alerted other clubs with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all monitoring developments.
And Cole, who was set up by Sterling for Liverpool’s equaliser in the 3-2 win at West Ham United on Sunday, believes the teenager has no reason to seek pastures new.
“It was a great pass from Raheem for my goal,” said Cole. “That’s what he’s capable of, he is a real livewire and is always a threat.
“He never stops running and working hard for the team and never looks tired, and for an 18-year-old kid that’s unbelievable.
“He is going to be a top player and he is at the right club to do that.”
Cole’s strike was his first in the Premier League since netting in the 5-0 romp over Birmingham City in April 2011, and was his first away league goal since scoring for Chelsea at Old Trafford 12 months earlier.
It followed his goal in last month’s 2-2 home Europa League draw with Young Boys, and Cole said: “It was a good feeling to score again and an even better one to win for our fantastic supporters.
“When I came off the pitch after scoring against Young Boys, considering I haven’t done much for Liverpool, the reception I got from the fans was amazing and it meant a lot to me.
“The fans can see I want to do well for this club and it was great to score a goal for them and get the three points.
“I really do think this team is making good progression. The players are getting better and better and really responding to the things the manager wants us to do.
“It’s great to play alongside the young lads with the talent and enthusiasm they have got.”
Cole also praised Jonjo Shelvey, who led the attack at Upton Park in place of the suspended Luis Suarez and was involved in the winning goal when his challenge forced James Collins to turn Jordan Henderson’s cross into his own net.
“Jonjo is such a clever player and he was a credit to the team,” said Cole. “He worked his socks off, he held the line and he was always a threat.”