Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing feels he can compare Harvey Elliott and Raheem Sterling. The 36-year-old played with both.
The last two elite forward talents to come through at Liverpool are undoubtedly Harvey Elliott and Raheem Sterling. Though, the Reds did sign both from London clubs.
Sterling joined all the way back in 2010 from Queen’s Park Rangers before making his Liverpool debut in 2012. Similarly, Elliott left Fulham for Anfield in 2019, making his debut that same year.
Both were considered to be incredible talents as teenagers, with Sterling eventually fulfilling that promise. But how do they compare?
Stewart Downing is in a unique position to make that comparison, having been at Liverpool when Sterling broke through. He also played for Blackburn Rovers last season with Elliott, seeing the teenager up close.
And having witnessed both break through, Downing feels Elliott has one thing over the now-Manchester City winger.
“I remember Raheem at 17,” Downing told the Athletic. “He had so much talent but he didn’t have Harvey’s understanding of the game – his decision making.”
Downing went on to praise Elliott for what he did last season. The teenager scored four goals and assisted 11 in what was his first full senior campaign.
“He really stood out for us last season,” said Downing. “You could see it every day with how he trained.
“He was probably our best player, along with Adam Armstrong. Harvey always seemed to know where to be, where to go.”
Sterling or Elliott?
It’ll be very difficult to compare the two going forward – the situations are just too different. Sterling played in an underdog Liverpool and quickly found himself as the main attacking player in 2014/15.
Elliott certainly won’t find himself there. He’s at one of the most successful clubs going right now and has world-class forwards ahead of him.
But it’s certainly great to hear that Downing sees Elliott as slightly ahead of Sterling at the same age. If that continues to be the case throughout his development, the Reds will have a superstar.