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Raheem Sterling has the luck; which Stewart Downing does not

Raheem Sterling Liverpool

At just 17, Raheem Sterling's rise to the top continues unabated, inspiring a comeback draw for Liverpool at the Stadium of Light on Saturday evening

After just three Premier League starts - and three substitute appearances last season - Raheem Sterling has already provided his first assist for Liverpool.

Which remains more than Stewart Downing has contributed in the Premier League since joining Liverpool, in 39 appearances.

Except it does not tell the full story, the assist may have been technically credited to Sterling, but Suarez only scored after the winger's cross resulted in a game of penalty box pinball.

Sterling's cross may have created the danger which led to the equaliser, but the real provider of the goal was the hapless Titus Bramble who sliced the ball back into Suarez' path.

The sequence of events unlined how just everything seems to be going right at the moment for Sterling, who was called into the England squad last week for the first time.

By contrast, Stewart Downing simply can't buy a piece of good fortune, from when he hit the bar on his debut against Sunderland on the first day of last season, to a missed penalty against Chelsea in May.

In total in his first season the winger hit the woodwork six times. Bad luck or bad finishing? You decide.

There has to be more to it than just luck, doesn't there? Sterling is full of confidence, and Downing appears to be bereft of it. Sterling makes things happen, is full of tricks, and is unpredictable for defenders, and Downing is simply more pedestrian.

Downing has likely already peaked, while Sterling's potential is limitless.

Yet Downing created 55 chances for Liverpool's chances last season, so he was doing something right, it can't all be put on him, and he has even said so himself.

In the final minute of the game at the weekend Downing floated in a corner, which Glen Johnson headed over. The way things are going right now, had Sterling crossed the ball in, Johnson would have buried home a winner.

How much time should Downing be afforded at Liverpool to get it right?

image: © kong niffe

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