Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling has picked Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard out for special praise, insisting that the Blues wing wizard is easily the best player he's ever come up against in a short but superb Premier League career.
Sterling was asked by Sport magazine to name the toughest defender he's faced at the highest level, but neatly side-stepped the question and instead by claiming the quite 'ridiculous' Hazard is on another level to other players in his position.
The 20-year-old said: “Nah, that defender question has got me in trouble before. Eden Hazard’s the best player I’ve played against, though. He’s ridiculous.”
How do the pair match up?
A quick glance at the stars for both players this season shows why Sterling would be well served to model his game on Hazard, who has produced a consistent standard of performances to match his talent with Chelsea this season.
Hazard has eight goals and seven assists in the Premier League since August, compared to four in each category for Sterling. Liverpool need their young standout to find similar figures to Hazard during the second half of the campaign, or Champions League qualification will effectively be out of reach.
Capital One Cup showdown imminent
The England international will get a chance to see Hazard's silky skills up close and personal next week, with Chelsea and Liverpool paired for a semi-final showdown in the Capital One Cup.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers afforded Sterling a mid-season holiday to Jamaica with those kind of crunch clashes in mind, now its up to his brightest talent to prove he can deliver when Liverpool need him most.