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Raheem Sterling has had a topsy-turvy career so far but he seems to be on an upward trajectory under Pep Guardiola. When he left Liverpool, he cut a frustrated figure and was unable to resurrect his career even at the Etihad stadium. However, once Pep Guardiola took over, the player has been in spectacular form. He was influential for City last season but what he has done for them this time is truly unmatched.
Despite being just 22 years of age, Sterling has matured into a brilliant winger. Undoubtedly, Guardiola’s tutelage has had a major role in this but there seems to be a lot more awareness to every move Sterling makes on the field. He is more intelligent, is reading the game better and seems to understand his role in the squad really well. Sterling’s talent always shone through but it seemed like he did not know how to utilise it before. But this time, he is looking a lot more confident and skilled in his every approach.
Guardiola may have nudged him in the right direction but the £200,000-a-week star is responsible for the way he has hit the ground running once more. In 17 appearances for City so far in all competitions this season, Sterling has scored 13 goals and 2 assists. He has picked up a yellow and a red card but he averages 2.2 shots per game. He has a pass success-rate of 82.9% out of which 1.5 have been key passes. Also, he has already amassed 5 Man of The Match awards so far.
These numbers show how much of an impact Sterling has made for City. He has been prolific at goal-scoring and has also brought about a fresh sense of dynamism into the club’s attack. Aided by the power of Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane, Sterling has made everything fall into place for the Sky Blues in terms of their attack.
In fact, one might even call Sterling the best poacher in the Premier League this time. Naturally a wide player, he seems to have a penchant for scoring and that is truly evident from the way he continues to impress for City. Given his current form, Sterling might even score 20 or more goals this season. Blessed with guile and pace, Sterling knows how to play tricky football but he is also aware of when to turn things down a notch. Despite his individual contributions this time, he has also been adept as a team player.
Yet, somehow, Sterling continues to be one of the most underrated players. He has been a threat for quite some time but it is under Guardiola’s influence that he has truly transformed. This will not be the end of the road for Sterling if he continues this way and he can achieve a lot but as of now, he is arguably the best player in the Premier League.