Raheem Sterling says he knew Jadon Sancho was destined for the top after seeing the youngster run rings around him in training with Manchester City.
That promise had a teenage talent held in high regard by the Blues, but difficulties in seeing a path to the first team led to a move being made elsewhere.
Sancho took the brave decision to head for Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and has not looked back, becoming a senior star at club level and a regular in the England set-up.
Sterling, who is now an international colleague of a player vying for top spot in the Goal NxGn, claims a meteoric rise has come as no surprise to him, while he believes the best career call was made when opting to leave the Etihad Stadium.
“First day I’d seen him training with us, I was really happy to see such a talent,” Sterling told Sport360 of an 18-year-old team-mate.
“I always knew he’d become the player he has, for sure. From minute one. I was playing right back against him one day in pre-season training and he spun me back and I nearly did my back in. He’s a great talent.”
Sterling, who made his own move from QPR to Liverpool while still in his teens, added on Sancho’s switch to Germany: “When he first mentioned to me he was thinking about going abroad, even though he was a City player, I was happy to hear that from him. To see that confidence, it reminded me of myself when I went to Liverpool.
“To have a couple of London teams and Liverpool to go to, I chose the further option, to have the time out away from my friends. So, when he said that to me about going, I knew he had a massive chance to go on to do big things.
“I wouldn’t say it’s about being scared or frightened in taking a risk, but being mainly content, mainly at ease, and he’s gone on and taken a step forward.
“I’m just really happy to see him doing so well. He’s doing massive things and I hope he stays level headed and keeps working and keeps learning.”
Sterling will be on hand to help aid Sancho’s development, though he concedes that an exciting performer with such potential will not need a great deal of assistance.
“I want to be like him,” added the City winger.
“He’s a great talent and I’m just really happy for him.
“Off the field he is a top lad, and that’s the one thing I try to correct him on, off the field, because he’s a great person, just try to help him with advice. But on the field, be as arrogant as you want.
“On the field you don’t need to be level headed. For me, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and think the best of his ability because that ability can take him all the way to the top.”