With all the money that is being spent on older, proven foreign talent in the Premier League, it is nice to see two young Englishmen like Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling thriving in two of the top teams. Both teams have not started the season the way they would have wanted. With Arsenal down in sixth and Liverpool languishing down in 11th, both teams will not have a whole lot of positives from the early part of the season, but the play of their two young English wide men can be taken as a big positive.
The two teens have impressed at different times this season, but both have shown the potential they possess. Sterling started the season in fantastic form and was easily Liverpool’s best player for early on. The Liverpool star has recently had his performances taper off a bit, possibly suffering from the weight of expectations, burn out, or just suffering from the inconsistencies most youngsters have in their game. Oxlade Chamberlain started the season primarily being used as a substitute. Since Mesut Ozil was ruled out with his injury, the Ox has started all but one of Arsenal’s games. After a couple of indifferent performances, the former Southampton man has been extremely impressive for the Gunners and has often been the second best player on the pitch for Arsenal, only behind the in form Alexis Sanchez.
Both players have the ability to take players on and beat them for fun. They also have the ability to pick out the killer pass after beating their man to create chances for themselves and for others.
This season, Sterling has been the more creative of the two creating 26 chances in total, or creating a chance every 35 minutes. In comparison, Oxlade Chamberlain has created 14 chances, or a chance every 47 minutes. The former QPR man’s pass completion percentage is also slightly better completing 79% of his passes compared to 78% for the Ox. This shows that Sterling’s final ball has been better than the Arsenal man, making him harder to handle for his opponents. The Arsenal man has shown that he does have the quality on the ball and that he still is fantastic at beating his man with more successful take ons and a higher percentage of completed take ons than his England teammate.
When it comes to goal scoring, Sterling is certainly better than Oxlade Chamberlain, at the moment. The Liverpool starlet has scored three goals compared to the Ox’s one, has a higher shot accuracy, and has a higher percentage of his shots from more dangerous areas inside the box. Sterling’s chance conversion rate is 11.5%, which is not the best, but it is better than the Arsenal man’s 5.5%. The fact that Sterling has more opportunities to play central or the fact that he is a more important cog in the Liverpool machine could be reasons for his far superior statistics, but you would be hard pressed to find someone that thinks Oxlade Chamberlain is better in front of goal than the man from Jamaica.
At this point, most would say that Sterling is the more accomplished of the two. The Liverpool man just seems to have more polish to his game than his counterpart from Arsenal. Oxlade Chamberlain has the qualities, but his final product is not where it needs to be at the moment. That said, both players have huge amounts of potential, and, if the Ox can stay healthy, and get a good run in the side, he could catch up to Sterling and even pass him. These are two of the brightest English talents on show today and seeing them both play well this season provides a lot of hope for the future of England, the future of Liverpool, and the future of Arsenal.