Teenage sensation Raheem Sterling is on the crest of a wave of being an instrumental part of the Liverpool side that chased Manchester City down for the title right up until the last day.
As we all know now, it wasn’t to be Liverpool’s year and, in the end, they finished an excruciating two-points behind Manchester City in the league table.
The impact made by Sterling hasn’t gone under the radar and Liverpool team-mate, Jordan Henderson, has tipped the youngster to go on to be one of the world’s best.
‘Raheem is a fantastic player,’ Henderson said. ‘You’ve seen that in the Premier League and even when he’s played for England. He has no fear. For such a young boy, he’s got great awareness and his knowledge of the game is really good.’
‘He can be a big plus for us in this World Cup. He’s got a good head on shoulders, got good people around him, so he’s just got to keep working hard. I am sure he will go right to the very top.’
With that in mind, we’ve decided to look how Sterling’s record last season compares to that of Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2003-2004 season, which is when he was the same age as Sterling.
Premier League statistics only:
Appearances – 15 (14); minutes on the pitch - 1545
Goals – 4; minutes per goal – 386.2
Shots on target – 20; shots off target - 24
Shooting accuracy - 45.5%; Chance conversion – 9.1%
Assists – 4; key passes – 28
|Apps||Mins||Goals||mins / Goals|
|Ontarget Scoring Att||Shot Off Target|
At 19, Ronaldo was considered a very raw talent with a lot to learn in the game and was considered, by fans and critics, to be very hit and miss. Nevertheless, the young attacker took the advice that was given to him on board and really accelerated his development at a rate much quicker than his peers.
In that sense, Sterling and Ronaldo’s path as a young player have shown similarities.
Before Sterling was considered an important member of the Liverpool first-team, Brendan Rodgers commented that the youngster still had a lot to learn in the game before establishing himself at the top level.
However, the his progression last season was astronomical and a couple of months later he had already found his feet in the Liverpool first-team.
At the same age, if the statistics are to be read as gospel then Sterling is leaps and bounds ahead of Ronaldo. But, he should look at Ronaldo as the example to follow because the Portuguese star has continued to work and train hard in order to improve all aspects of his game.
Sterling is a player with the world at his feet, but needs to ensure he continues to follow Ronaldo’s example as opposed to those who have allowed the success get to their head and took their foot off the pedal, which could be said for Nani and Anderson at Manchester United.
Can Sterling go on to be one of the world's best?