Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has challenged Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling on one key aspect of his game – the 20-year-old’s ability to strike a ball.
The former England midfielder began his column in the London Evening Standard by praising the player’s touch, skill and pace but questioned him on his ability to strike a ball correctly, citing David Beckham as the best he’s ever seen.
‘’I have no wish to rain on his parade but in terms of his goalscoring, there is an observation I find myself coming back to every time I watch Sterling,’’ said Scholes.
‘’I don’t rate him that highly as a striker of the ball and by that I mean, literally, how he kicks it.’’
Although Sterling is still raw and Scholes may have a valid point, to some degree, the goal against Chelsea was anything but badly hit. The fleet-footed attacker left Chelsea players chasing shadows before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the goal despite the high pressure situation.
If anything you could say it was a huge sign of his development showing that much composure.
‘’David Beckham was the best I ever saw, the most natural striker of a ball I played with,’’ 11-time Premier League winner Scholes said.
‘’Wayne Rooney knows how to strike a football, so too Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
‘’Watching Sterling I feel that the weakness in his game is his strike. His touch is good. His problem is the hit. Too often his shots are a scuff or a bobble.’’
Looking back through his career, Scholes was certainly a player that could strike a ball and his column and advice may go a long way into Sterling looking at that aspect of his game. However, at 20, it’s hard to predict where he will be in five years because he is still so raw.