Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling may be worth all the hype after all, the Guardian argues, as they crunch the numbers and compare the 20-year-old’s stats against greats of the game like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age.
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The England international is still at the very early stage of his career as he considers a move to a bigger club this summer, with some speculation that he could fetch a fee of £40m already (or even as high as £60m according to some reports), despite only being a Reds regular for the last two seasons.
However, his numbers since becoming a key player for the Merseyside giants suggest he may grow into the world class talent that he looks so capable of being, with only Messi, Eden Hazard and Arjen Robben producing better goals-per-game statistics at the same age.
Ronaldo, whilst at Manchester United, was certainly not as highly rated at the same age, producing only 0.2 goals and 0.18 assists per game. He has also created 75 chances in 35 appearances, while Ronaldo managed just 49 in 33, and Messi 40 in 28. It is also shown that Sterling is out-shining big names like Gareth Bale, Davild Silva and Theo Walcott at the same age.
Hazard again is the one of the only others doing better in terms of chance creation when he was that young, along with Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil.
It may be too early to say, but Sterling looks the real deal based on what we’ve seen so far, which could explain why so many big clubs are desperate to get him while he’s still young.