Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, has claimed that 19-year-old winger, Raheem Sterling, reminds him of four-time Ballon D’Or winner, Lionel Messi.
Sterling scored a spectacular goal against Manchester City in a pre-season friendly where he shook off challenges from several players in a manner similar to the kind of goals that Messi has famously scored over the seasons.
"Something we said to Raheem when he first broke into the team and something we've reiterated is that you have to have an identity as a player," Rodgers told reporters.
"His identity is he has to score goals and create goals. That's what the job is. He scored 10 goals last year and this kid is only going to get better.
"When you look at the finish against Manchester City in New York, how many times have we seen Messi produce a touch like that? Taking it through bodies when it's so tight in the box.
"The great thing with watching him now is that he gets you off your seat. When he gets the ball you think 'something could happen here'.
Rodgers also believes that Sterling has a lot of work to do before he can reach the level of ability that has been shown by the Barcelona attacker, but believes that, at his age, there remains room for development.
"For teams to have that fear of him as a young player shows his development. There is still work for him to do but he knows that and is a really good boy, who is developing," the Liverpool coach added.
"His development has gone to a new level. He's way above the level from when he first came in both tactically and technically. And what has been beautiful to watch with Raheem has been his maturity. He's turning into a beautiful young man.”
Sterling will get the chance to prove his talent in Liverpool’s opening fixture against Southampton on Sunday at 14:30.
Do you think that Raheem Sterling can develop into a player of Messi’s stature? Have your say in the comments section below.