Stoke City manager Alex Neil has heaped praise on Chelsea loanee Dujon Sterling following his performance against Preston North End.

After a late start to the season, he has now started in Stoke’s last four Championship games, with them picking up wins in their last two.

The four fixtures have seen him pick up a number of positions already. He has played on both sides of a back five which has seen various levels of attacking importance.

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Sterling is impressing in the Championship for the second consecutive season, after impressing for Blackpool throughout the last campaign.

Now, Neil has claimed that he is one of the best one-on-one defenders he has ever seen.

He said: “Yeah great, Dujon Sterling, you’ve seen the one where Emil Riis tries to knock it towards the end. In this division, I reckon Emil Riis runs away from them 99 per cent of the time.

Sterling praised by Neil

“Dujon, for me, is arguably one of the best one-on-one defenders I’ve seen. There are very few players who get past him – he is strong, powerful and determined.”

Sterling has impressed on numerous loan spells now, having frequently been touted for big things since his move to Cobham.

However, he has always struggled to make the step up to the first team for any length of time.

When everyone is fully fit, the right-back position is one that is extremely difficult to break into in the current squad.

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Reece James has nailed down the role, and this season has been performing at the highest level in his already impressive albeit short career.

Despite this, the 22-year-old will not play for the Blues again this year following his injury against AC Milan.

This will also mean he will almost certainly miss the World Cup, handing England a massive blow in their preparations.

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