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English football looks to be in safe hands with many youngsters making a mark in recent times from various clubs. Two such players are definitely Raheem Sterling of Liverpool and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Arsenal. Both have played well for their respective clubs garnering the attention of everyone and have rightly earned their places in the English squad. So we have decided to take a comparative look between the two future stars and find out who have made a better impression at such an early stage of their career.
Among many other contributions of Rafa Benitez, Sterling will remain one of his most vital findings for the club. Signed from QPR, this fifteen year old lad soon cut into the Liverpool youth teams and it was in early 2012, that Sterling was put to the first team by new manager Brendan Rodgers. He soon displayed his all round skills and quite became the talk of the town. Soon he came to the notice of his England manager and finally in November 2012, he made his England debut in a friendly match against Sweden. Until now, he has been quite a regular feature in the Liverpool side, showcasing his talent from both sides of the pitch and forming a very productive partnership with Suarez, raking in a number of goals.
Bought from Southampton in 2011 for £15million, this youngster found many admirers in his first season for his performance with the Gunners. In the match against Champion’s League match against AC Milan, he reached the peak of his short career and many, including Van Persie and Van Basten hailed him as the future of Arsenal and England. The previous season, such was his progress, that he was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year and was the youngest player to earn the nomination. Although, this season has not been as ravishing as the previous season, still he has enough potential in him to guide his club to Champions League spot, which looks a tad difficult right now.
If a comparative study of the statistics of Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain are made, then the following conclusions can be drawn.
From these two tables, it can be seen that there is not much of a difference between the two players statistics wise. But the main point to note is that Brendan Rodgers has put more faith in Sterling than Wenger has put in Chamberlain. This fact is highlighted by the number of games that both the players have featured in. While Sterling has 22 games to his credit this season, Chamberlain has just 16 games under his name. In terms of chances created, Sterling leads Chamberlain by 35 to 12. In the shot accuracy section it is Sterling who has 55% of accuracy while Chamberlain lags behind at 36%, not so good a rate for an aggressive midfielder.
Till now both the players have not shown a great tendency to drop back and assist the defenders in times of needs, but this may be credited to their tender age. For wide forwards, Sterling has shown more knack to move centrally and go in a scoring position. On the other hand, Chamberlain has provided crosses into the box more frequently, although they have not been the most accurate at times. But we can assume in course of time, both will develop a habit to drop back and given Chamberlain’s physical advantage over Sterling, he is sure to outdo his England counterpart in this department.
Sterling is sure to score more on the popularity metre, given the ecstasy surrounding him after he renewed his contract with Liverpool. The fans view him as a great achievement of the youth system which suffered a drought after producing some fine players in Gerrard and Owen. Chamberlain does not enjoy this kind of luxury at Arsenal where he is yet another talented youngster apart from Wilshere, Ramsey and Jenkinson. But with a repeat performance of his match against Milan last season, he should be right back among the fan favourites and hype around him should automatically be on the vertical slope.
Although it is too early to draw any conclusions at the moment, it seems like the progress Chamberlain made last season has somehow stalled and he is currently suffering to cope up with the team. Sterling on his part has played quite an important role for his team this season and if he improves some features of his game successfully like dribbling and one-two with other players, he can be up there with the best. Both the players have tremendous potential in them and it would be interesting to see how they exploit their talent and guide their club and nation to glory.