Chelsea star Raheem Sterling has claimed he can’t compare himself to Chelsea transfer target Jude Bellingham at the same age.
Sterling made his World Cup bow for England aged 19 in 2014, a feat that’s now been repeated by Bellingham but Sterling insists it’s impossible to measure himself up against Bellingham at the same age.
“How do I compare myself? Nothing like him!” Sterling said. “He’s a confident individual who slots right into this team.
“Like anything when I was 19 and going to my first World Cup it wasn’t the same personnel around you, it was kind of a transitional period.
“But he’s a fantastic player, he’s one that we’ve just got to let keep doing his thing and enjoying his football and not putting pressure on him.
“I think he’ll get to the very top but we’ve just got to be patient and let him flow and as you see with club football and now internationally he’s doing really well.”
Sterling is keen for Bellingham to be given time and space to do his own thing.
“I’m big on just letting someone be, just let him be,” Sterling added.
“He’s got all the ability in the world but you don’t need the added pressure. I think leave that to the guys that have been in situations like this before.
“He’s someone that I would love to just go under the radar and keep playing his football, I think he’ll flourish off of that.
“I’m not saying he can’t deal with it but at the same time anyone will flourish or play even better when they haven’t got too much pressure on them.
“I do think he’s going to play a vital part in this team and as you’ve seen the other day how comfortable he is in possession, how confident he is and the maturity as well, I think that’s something that surprises a lot of people about him, his maturity on and off the field.”