Mark Lawrenson compares Raheem Sterling to Theo Walcott and criticises both

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been compared to Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

Popular pundit Mark Lawrenson believes Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has a hint of Theo Walcott about him in the way he struggles to read the game, the BBC report.

Sterling, like Walcott before him, rose to prominence off the back of a number of exciting displays where his pace and directness caused the opposition all sorts of problems.

The winger became an England international at a young age, subsequently earned a big-money move to City from Liverpool and is widely regarded as one of the country’s biggest assets.

However, Walcott was held in the same esteem at Arsenal, but beyond the Gunners ace's exceptional  pace lies a number of faults in his game such as basic awareness and understanding.

After watching Sterling again struggle to click for City on Wednesday, Lawrenson fears he is of similar type.

"Everybody knows the ability that Sterling has and the pace he has but he is a little bit Walcott-ish for me, will he ever have the understanding to play his role in the team or will he just keep reacting to situations. It is about game intelligence for me,” Lawrenson explained.

  GoalsAssistsShots per GameKey Passes per GameTake-ons per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearances
Raheem Sterling 5 2 1.96 1.4 1.56 3.76 25
Theo Walcott 4 2 1.95 0.82 1 2.32 22

As shown by the table provided by Opta, both players have similar records this season.

Sterling has five goals and two assists to his name, while Walcott has four goals and two assist for Arsenal. In a combined 47 Premier League appearances, though, the tallies do not make for good reading.

It is perhaps easy to forget that Sterling is still only 21, yet raw ability on the ball can often count for very little if the player does not have a particularly intelligent footballing brain to match.

The imminent arrival of highly-rated boss Pep Guardiola will give a good indication as whether Sterling can play a key role for a top club, as the Spaniard certainly will not leave any stone unturned in his pursuit of success.

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