Raheem Sterling, a player who swapped Loftus Road for Anfield as a 15-year-old, was one of the most precocious talents to emerge at Liverpool in recent memory.
Sterling began his career in London, but after catching the eye during his early teenage years with QPR he moved to Liverpool to enhance his budding career. It was a switch which ultimately enabled him to reach the immense level he has discovered under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, and his example may yet convince another wonderkid to make the switch from QPR to Liverpool.
Indeed, according to report published by the London Evening Standard in 2018, Liverpool – along with a whole host of fellow Premier League sides including Manchester City and Tottenham – have sent scouts to watch Eberechi Eze in action this season.
The electric number ten only established himself as a first-team regular this season, but he is already beginning to capture the attention of some of England’s top clubs and it’s easy to see why.
At just 20-years-of-age, Eze possesses a rare level of flair which instantly raises anticipation amongst onlooking supporters, with his tight ball control and desire to drive beyond the opponent particularly catching the eye.
Those who have seen Eze in action this season will be firmly aware of his quality in possession of the ball, but recent quotes from journalist George Elek, who delivered a gushing verdict on the rising star while speaking on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast, are particularly telling about how highly he is regarded.
“Marc Bircham [first team coach at QPR], who has worked with him at QPR, said that he goes past players easier than Raheem Sterling did when he was at the club. His work rate is also very good and not normally one that you would associate with a flair player – he’s not afraid to get stuck in.”
Naturally, Bircham’s comments need to be taken with a pinch of salt considering Eze joined as an 18-year-old and Sterling left before turning 16, but the comparison certainly hints that, within the right environment, he could blossom into a top Premier League talent in the years to come.
Elek went on to add: “The ball also has a tendency to stick to his feet and he is creating opportunities for his team-mates – at 20 he is a raw talent and is undoubtedly a player that will be playing in the Premier League in the next year or so.”
Could Eze be the next player to successfully make the switch from QPR to Liverpool? Well, Elek’s analysis and Bircham’s admission certainly hint that he possesses the natural ability to make the step up in class.
His return of four goals and three assists from 28 Championship appearances this season is decent without being in the realm of groundbreaking, but it must be considered that QPR are 14th in the table and far from one of the strongest sides in the division; if Eze was playing in a stronger starting eleven there is no doubt he would be boasting a superior record at this stage.
There is also much more to consider beyond raw numerical data, particularly with aspiring young talents, and the fact Eze has been praised for his exemplary work rate suggests that his mentality fits the profile of a future top-flight star.
It seems unlikely that Eze will be on Liverpool’s radar this month, but by the time the summer window reopens for business Jurgen Klopp should strongly consider making a bid for a player who could yet be on a similar career path to Sterling.
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