Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand has compared England teammate Raheem Sterling to the likes of Barcelona stars Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, report the Daily Mail.
The Manchester City star moved to the Etihad this summer in a record £49m deal after establishing himself as one of the country’s best players at Liverpool, playing with Suarez for a time at Anfield.
Bertrand believes the 20-year old’s defensive willingness is what sets him apart from other exciting youngsters in world football, and near the level of the current crop of Barcelona superstars.
‘He is up there with the Barcelona three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, who are not just great attacking players but whose ability to win the ball back is one of the best parts of their game.’
‘If he can add more goals, Raheem could be at the level of a Barcelona player’, insisted Bertrand.
The former Chelsea left-back has established himself as a regular in Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squads ahead of next summer’s European Championships in France, after some excellent form on the South Coast over the last two seasons.
Sterling has notched six goals in his opening fifteen appearances for City, and netted twice in 20 caps for the national side.