Sterling is on the verge of completing a £49million transfer from Liverpool to Manchester City, but Thompson does not believe the forward will be as big a loss as Suarez was when he joined Barcelona 12 months ago.
“He’s certainly a good player, but he’s not a great player and that’s why you won’t find too many Liverpool fans shedding any tears for him,” Thompson said in the Daily Mirror.
“Last season wasn’t a great season for him. The one before that he did well with Suarez. But last year we were looking for a lot from him, but he didn’t deliver.
“Luis Suarez is world class, but Sterling is nowhere near Suarez’s capabilities, although he’s still a very good player.
“City are paying for potential. Raheem’s had 13 or 14 assists in the three years and has scored something like 18 league goals. You need a little bit more than that.”
Jamie Carragher agrees with Thompson that Sterling is far from the finished article, suggesting City are paying double what the 20-year-old is actually worth.
He told the Daily Mail: “There’s no doubt it’s an astronomical amount of money considering his career so far. It’s a great price for Liverpool and City are paying well over the odds.
“It should be £25m to £30m but the reason it’s so high is that City are so desperate to have English-born players – and not just squad players, but people who will go straight into the first team. Liverpool have exploited that.”
Another former Liverpool player, John Aldridge, believes the Reds have a ready-made replacement for Sterling in Jordan Ibe.
“Certainly with Raheem, Liverpool have got more than enough there to play that position,” he said.
“A young lad called Jordan Ibe, who I’ve been watching since he was 15, is a terrific young player and a fantastic young talent. And he could in my opinion could surpass Raheem. He’s got everything going if nurtured in the right way.
“What Liverpool need to do is go out and spend wisely and get that elusive striker that we missed last year. The striker who’s going to give you 20 goals-plus – and pay whatever you need to pay to get him.”