It’s hard to believe that Raheem Sterling is still only 21-years-old.
The winger, who made his Liverpool debut at the age 17, has already experienced more in his short career than many players do in their entire career.
He became a regular at Anfield whilst still a teenager and came within inches of helping them win the Premier League during the 2013/14 season, making 33 league appearances as they were pipped to the title by Manchester City.
But his career hasn’t all been plain-sailing.
Sterling has been involved in two disappointing tournaments for England during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 European Championships in France - where his performances were heavily criticised.
Last summer, he unceremoniously switched Liverpool for Manchester City for £49 million making him the most expensive English player ever.
Liverpool supporters were angry with the way Sterling and his agent, Aidy Ward, agitated the transfer and he is very much a hated figure on Merseyside.
But it seems as though the dislike for Sterling stretches beyond his former club with him often been booed since he swapped Liverpool for City last year.
Guardiola on Sterling
Guardiola doesn’t believe the move 13 months ago has anything to do with the booing. In fact, he thinks it’s because of Sterling’s ability.
"The fans may boo because they know how good he is,” Guardiola said.
“He showed me from the start that he is strong, mentally strong. He has just focused on his job, on the game. That's it.
“When that happens he is going to do good things for us and the England national team. I’m pretty sure of that.
“Just focus and the people will stop taking about what happened off the pitch, and just talk about what happens on the pitch. Everything is going well, I’m pretty sure of that.”
Sterling's City future
After Guardiola moved to sign Nolito and Leroy Sane this summer, there were fears for Sterling’s future at the Etihad. He struggled for large parts of last campaign following his big-money move and it looked as though he would find first-team football hard to come by under the new manager.
However, Sterling has started the campaign impressively and it seems Guardiola has instilled the confidence that had previously been missing from his play.
If Sterling continues this good start to the season, not only will people stop booing him but he will start to fulfil the incredible potential he showed during his Liverpool days.
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