Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling is facing a showdown with manager Brendan Rodgers, who condoned the use of nitrous oxide.
Sterling produced a goal-scoring display as Liverpool defeated 10-man Newcastle United 2-0 on Monday but the 20-year-old’s performance has been overshadowed after footage emerged of him appearing to pass out having allegedly consumed the legal substance commonly known as laughing gas.
The England international, who has been subject to increased media attention after rejecting a new deal with Liverpool, finds himself in hot water again after newspapers published a picture on Sunday of the youngster smoking a shisha pipe.
Rodgers plans to sit down with Sterling, though he defended the player’s character.
“I’ll speak to him on it, I owe him that respect to see what he says on it but obviously as you can imagine I only just saw it,” Rodgers told reporters.
“For me it’s something that, you’re a professional sportsperson at the top level of the game, I don’t think it’s something you should be doing. It’s as simple as that.
“We want players here that are super professional, that are focused on their football and I know he is.
“He’s very much focused on his football and improving as a player. Like I said before, young players they’ll make mistakes and as long as they learn from them that’s what’s important.”