Over the last few years, Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has developed into an accomplished attacking player. Last season Sterling was one of the key players in the Citizens dominating the Premier League.
Despite his good club form, the former Liverpool star has struggled to produce the goods for England. Well, he had until Monday night, when the forward scored a brace in England’s stunning 3-2 win in Spain in the Nations League.
Struggled for form in an England shirt
The brace ended an international goal drought of three years for Sterling, who has been heavily criticised by both media and fans for his performances in an England shirt. In fact, Sterling was one of the scapegoats for the Three Lions terrible Euro 2016 campaign.
Sterling now has four goals in 46 international appearances for the England national team, which is an incredibly poor return for a player with such talent and quality. Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford has already scored six times in just 29 international appearances, which puts Sterling’s statistics to shame really.
I hope that for the player and for England, that Monday night’s goals will be the turning point in his international career.
Potential to get even better in the future
England now have a bright positive outlook under boss Gareth Southgate, who is not scared to give youngsters their chance in the first-team. There are promising youngsters in around the squad.
Sterling is one of the most promising of them all. The winger is still just 23 years of age, yet has won close to a half-century of caps for the national side. Under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, he is developing into a top player.
Spain boss Luis Enrique labelled Sterling as ‘world-class’ after Monday night’s game. However, I doubt many would say the forward is in that category yet, as only a small minority of players fit into that category.
He does seem to have the potential to develop into an even better player and could one day become a world-class player. Playing under Guardiola will no doubt help his game, as there are still major weaknesses that he could develop to become an even better player in the future.
Crucial for club and country
Raheem Sterling is a crucial player for both club and country. When he is on form, Sterling is a massive attacking threat to any opposition defence, as proven by his brace against Spain.
Sterling has started this season in decent form, scoring four times and producing two assists. Three of those goals and both assists have been in his last five league appearances for the Citizens.
The forward will be looking to add to his goal tally when City host Burnley this weekend, with the Citizens massive favourites to pull off a big win over the Clarets. No doubt he will continue finding the net for Pep Guardiola’s side.
It is only good for the England team if Sterling consistently scores goals, as he will head to national team duty in good confidence. I hope that now he has scored the brace the winger will feel that a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
For too long he has been the target for criticism and ridicule. Maybe not he can thrive in an England shirt, instead of shrinking.
Can Raheem Sterling bring his club form to the England team on a permanent basis?