Italian press tip Liverpool's Sterling to succeed Pogba to Europe's prestigious Golden Boy Award

Liverpool duo tipped for the Golden Boy award, last won by former Manchester United whizkid Paul Pogba.

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling has been tipped by the Italian press as frontrunners for the prestigious Golden Boy Award.

The honour is bestowed by newspaper Tuttosport, with previous winners including Mario Gotze, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, and in 2010, Mario Balotelli.

The current honour is held by Paul Pogba, and a shortlist of 40 young players have been nominated this season, with several from the Premier League.

Tuttosport believe Sterling is the early favourite, writing: "Raheem Sterling is the protagonist of the Golden Boy, a possible successor to Paul Pogba."

The award is open to players under 21, and a panel of European journalists will judge the winner, to be announced in December.

Two of Sterling's teammates are on the list, Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi, but the pair's performances at club level this season pale in comparison to the English teenager. 

Markovic can however point to becoming a title winner in Portugal with Benfica, and Origi his World Cup showing, but the panel judges are likely to see past the lack of consistency from the pair.

His main rivals could be PSG's Marquinhos, and Barcelona's Munir El Haddadi, with names like Calum Chambers and John Stones making up the 40, just not on the same level in terms of being considered among Europe's would-be elite.

Sterling would become the first English winner of the award since Wayne Rooney in 2004, but he should not get too carried away, it isn't always right. In 2008, the Golden Boy Award was presented to Manchester United flop Anderson.

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