4 January 2018
When Pep Guardiola took charge of Manchester City last season, Raheem Sterling was seen as a player who was largely inconsistent. On a good day, he would show signs of how lethal he can be but on most other days, he would be weak and make minimal impact.
However, all that changed once the former Barcelona manager took charge of the club. He somehow repaired Sterling’s broken confidence and pushed him to do better – which the player slowly did. He improved slowly but surely and showed tremendous potential last campaign.
Little did we all know that it was just a trailer. This season, Sterling, who earns £150,000-a-week has started off with a newfound zeal and has firmly established himself as one of the best in the Premier League.
He has certainly come a long way under Guardiola’s watchful eyes and has played a crucial role in City’s spectacular displays as well. They are currently far ahead at the top of the table and are touted as the champions-elect as of now.
His pace, creativity and just sheer skills have been remarkable. He is often compared to the likes of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne – who have also been regarded as the best attackers in the league – but there is reason to believe that Sterling outshines them both.
De Bruyne obviously plays a comparatively deeper role in midfield and has been quite sensational as well. He was the fastest midfielder to get involved in 50 goals but when one compares De Bruyne’s performances with Sterling’s, it is seemingly evident that the latter has been far more consistent.
Make no mistake: De Bruyne is a vital player for City and his creativity and vision remain unparalleled. However, considering how Sterling has risen from his past to create a better and more consistent version of himself is quite commendable.
The player has already scored an astonishing 18 goals so far this season and has provided 4 assists. He began the season in red-hot form and continues to be a revelation on the wings, despite playing almost every single game for City.
As far as Salah is concerned, his finishing skills were a tad bit weak when the season first began. He has shown signs of improvement but on that front, Sterling definitely trumps the Egyptian.
However, the Liverpool star has scored more goals than Sterling but the 23-year-old has also outperformed him when it comes to defensive contribution and that is an important albeit overlooked fact. So, Sterling does seem like the all-around package and there is no limit to what he can achieve if he continues this way.