'Let Dujon Sterling become a Wigan Athletic star in his own right'
Paul Cook wants Dujon Sterling to be judged on his own merit at Wigan Athletic – and not compared to Chelsea team-mate Reece James.
Sterling has arrived at the DW Stadium on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge, 12 months after James made the same journey as a relative unknown.
The rest as they say is history, with James sweeping the board at the club’s player of the year awards.
Given Sterling is also 19, also a right-back and also an England junior international, comparisons have inevitably been made.
But the Latics manager doesn’t want Sterling having any added pressure on his shoulders, as he aims to make his mark in the Championship off his own back.
“I think it’s very unfair to do that – it’s not correct, it’s not right,” he told the Wigan Post.
“Dujon’s Dujon and Reece is Reece. And that’s how they should be treated.
“Reece had a great year here last season, and we’re proud to have played even a small part in his development.
“We wish Reece all the best in the future. But this is Dujon’s time now.
“Dujon will be remembered for what Dujon does here – not anyone else.
“We’ll embrace Dujon as a young lad, who is stepping up to play Championship football, in a tough league.
“But we have the belief he’ll be able to overcome any obstacles that come his way.”
Sterling wasn’t included in the matchday squad for last weekend’s season-opening visit of Cardiff, but he’s hoping to make Saturday’s short trip to Preston.
Also aiming to impress in training this week is striker Kieffer Moore, who joined from Barnsley on Monday.
That took the total number of arrivals this summer to eight, with the transfer window set to slam shut on Thursday evening at 5pm.