Liverpool hero Steve Nicol has tipped Raheem Sterling to reach the same level as Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo if he stays at Anfield.
As reported by talkSPORT, the future of the Reds ace is far from certain, with the player yet to sign a new long term deal with the Merseyside outfit, however Nicol has insisted that he's not going to reach the very top if he leaves the club in the near future.
In fact, the Scotsman, who played for the Anfield club for 13 years, has suggested that Sterling should look at what Cristiano Ronaldo did at Manchester United before he moved to Real Madrid in 2009.
Nicol told talkSPORT: "If he's got any brains he will look at happened to Cristiano Ronaldo up the M56 at Manchester United. He was there for six years honed his craft, became a superstar, and then moved on to - supposedly - the best team in the world, Real Madrid.
"Sterling has to have the brains to understand he's not at that level yet. Can he get there? Absolutely he can. He's got all the tools but he's not going to get there without Liverpool. If he thinks he is he's very much mistaken."
Don't join Chelsea
And Nicol has insisted that the versatile youngster mustn't join the likes of Chelsea if he wants to continue his progression in the game. He claims that Sterling would fail to hold down a regular place in Jose Mourinho's starting XI and should opt to play week in, week out under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
He continued by saying: "Is he going to play at Chelsea? Who is he going to knockout of the team? If you're Chelsea with an Oscar - he's the finished product. Sterling is far from the finished product. There is no reason to think he's going to play every week. He's not going to get to the stage that Ronaldo got to unless he's playing week in, week out.
"To leave Liverpool and, forget Chelsea, think about Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich - there is no guarantee he's going to play.
"Hopefully he's got some decent people around him, which we haven't seen because we wouldn't be talking about it if he did, if he hones his craft the money will come."
He should stay
You can hardly lame Sterling for assessing his options before making a decision over his long term future. At the end of the day, he must do what feels right, but staying at Anfield would be a good decision.
Rodgers has a fine track record with young talent and would only develop the wide-man as he goes in search of becoming one of the best players in the world.
Liverpool fans: Do you think Sterling will stay? Have your say in the comments section below!
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