After getting himself on the scoresheet in Manchester City’s 4-2 win over Napoli on Wednesday night, Raheem Sterling has now scored as many goals this season as he did the whole of last.
The 22-year-old netted 10 goals in 47 appearances last term. He’s reached that tally in 33 fewer games this season.
If he continues scoring at his current rate, Sterling will finish the 2017-18 campaign with over 30 goals to his name.
Like most of his teammates, Sterling has been magnificent so far this season. He’s flourishing under Pep Guardiola’s management and has re-established his status as one of English football’s most gifted youngsters following two difficult seasons at the Etihad Stadium.
City signed Sterling for £49 million back in the summer of 2015 after he decided to leave Liverpool to boost his chances of winning silverware.
But he flattered to deceive during his first season with City, working under Manuel Pellegrini, and then endured a disastrous Euro 2016.
Sterling was blasted by fans and pundits alike for his ineffective performances at the tournament.
He became a scapegoat for England’s abysmal displays until the heat turned on Roy Hodgson following the team’s humiliating 2-1 defeat to Iceland.
What Barton said about Sterling during Euro 2016
Prior to that match, Sterling was torn apart by Joey Barton, who questioned if the winger would even be a professional footballer if he weren’t so fast.
“Raheem Sterling has been poor for two years now,” Barton commented, per the Mirror. "Unfortunately, he has not been coached well enough. If you take away his pace, he is really weak, very limited technically.
"With his final ball, he is imprecise or clumsy. Without his pace, would he be a professional? If he weren't so quick, he would not be apt to do the job. And to think he cost £50m!
"I am really perplexed to see him in the national team after the season he has had. With France, Germany, Belgium or Spain, he would never be picked.
"For England, he is a starter and that says we are not that well stocked in the attacking department. I don't want to write him off completely because he is still young.
"With Guardiola, we will know within three weeks: either he will cut from the group because he will find him not good enough technically or he will help him get better.
"But your touch on the ball, the quality of your control, I don't know if you can learn that at 21-years-old.”
Barton’s comments like pretty ridiculous now.
Guardiola deserves credit for getting Sterling back on track
Sterling has proved all of his doubters wrong this season and Guardiola deserves huge credit for getting the England international’s career back on track.
Many people expected the revered Catalan coach to axe Sterling when he joined the club last summer.
But following his ordeal in France, Sterling was sent the following text message from Guardiola…
Now that’s what you call impressive man-management.
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