Former Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness was highly critical of Raheem Sterling, labelling him ‘a million miles away’ from being the finished article in a report by the Daily Star.
The Jamaica-born winger has made the headlines in recent months after refusing to sign a new Liverpool contract and apparently expressing his wish to leave the cub.
In an interview with the BBC, the lack of real intent and challenge for silverware at Anfield has been suggested as the main reason behind Sterling’s decision, not financial gains.
As a result, the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have been credited with an interest, as per the Daily Star article, though Souness feels the Reds’ ace is still a long way off that top standard.
"He's at a great football club. He's a young man who's shown promise but that's all he is. He's miles off being the finished article,” Souness explained.
“The priority should be playing football and improving and hopefully becoming a proper player one day. All he is, is a promising talent. He's a million miles away from being a proper player.”
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Sterling has some way to go before challenging the Premier League’s best playmakers over a wide range of attacking categories.
The Gunners’ summer signing Alexis Sanchez has scored more than double the amount Sterling has posted this season, while also providing more assists and ball recoveries.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard won the PFA Player of the Year award and it’s easy to see why. The Belgian international has been superb this season, averaging 4.74 take-ons and 2.66 key passes per encounter.
Sterling evidently has age on his side in order to catch up with his rivals, but the big question is whether or not he is good enough currently to play regular first-team football at the so-called elite clubs.