Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling comparisons need to stop

Jordon Ibe

Ever since Sterling's departure from Liverpool, there has been some debate as to whether Jordon Ibe could be better, but he still needs to develop.

Ever since Raheem Sterling left Liverpool for Manchester City in a big-money deal - which left a bitter taste in the mouths of many on Merseyside - there has been a standard line that followed: 'Jordon Ibe is better anyway'.

They're quick, they both played for Liverpool at the same time, they're wingers and have the same birthday. That's about where the comparisons end. Saying to a 19-year-old that he's better than a £49 million player is probably as burdening as it could be uplifting.

The fact is they play on opposite flanks, are not built the same and are very different in the threat they carry as a result. The match-up between the two - if Ibe were to start at the Etihad Stadium - could be an interesting one. Both are quick but there is the more nimble Sterling, and the very strong Ibe.

Sterling has been in the spotlight for much longer than Ibe, particularly given his circumstances surrounding his move to the current Premier League leaders - but this was after being a vital cog in a potent attacking unit fighting for the title in one season, then called upon to lead the attack and play in several positions the next when the side was in need of cutting edge. 

Ibe has yet to be that. He should be allowed to develop at his own pace. Like any young player, he had a dip in form at the start of the season but seems revived under Jurgen Klopp - scoring his first senior goal for the Reds and looking more of a threat for the side. He is also working under a manager who has a terrific reputation for nurturing younger players, and has already built something of a rapport with Ibe.

Sterling is a good player that Manchester City are lucky to have, one who seems to be performing an effective role for them this season, and could get even better.

Ibe is a good prospect for Liverpool and if he keeps fit and stays focused, this could be his real breakthrough season for the Reds. Could he also become a great player? Of course.

But that's where it ends. Otherwise, saying one is better than the other just feels like a point scoring contest which has all the excitement of paint drying. 

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