Raheem Sterling already has thirty goal contributions in 2019/20

Kosovo v England - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Raheem Sterling was superb on his return to the England line-up against Kosovo. 

Fresh off the back of being dropped for the Montenegro game following his scrap with Joe Gomez, the 24-year-old pulled the strings in attack for the Three Lions. 

The only thing that was missing for the Manchester City forward was a goal, as Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Mason Mount all found the back of the net in a 4-0 win. 

Whatever has gone on behind the scenes, Gareth Southgate must have relished starting Sterling again. 

Though he didn't cover himself in glory in that infamous bust-up in the St George's Park canteen, it's ultimately on the pitch that he should be judged.

If that's the criteria, we need to talk about his unreal statistics this season. 

In the 2018/19 campaign, it was hard to envisage Sterling getting any better.

As Manchester City secured a second consecutive title, he scored 17 league goals and provided 10 assists. 

Now, we're only four months into the 2019/20 season - but he's already looking frightening. 

On Sunday evening, he was at it again in Pristina, assisting Rashford's goal, which you can see below: 

That took him to a combined 30 goals and assists for the season for club and country, for whom he's played 32 games. 

The breakdown by competition is as follows: 

  • Champions League: Five goals and two assists
  • Premier League: Seven goals and one assist
  • UEFA Nations League: Two goals
  • Community Shield: One goal
  • Club Friendlies: Two goals
  • European Championship Qualifiers: Eight goals, one assist 
  • League Cup: One goal

It goes without saying that these are some truly remarkable stats, but let's put them into further perspective by comparing him to the top attacking players in the world right now - not including the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, as they haven't had the benefit of Euro qualifiers. 

For similar reasons, we won't compare him to Lionel Messi either, as injury and international suspension have disrupted his season so far. 

Elsewhere, though, in the same period of time, the figures look like this: 

Cristiano Ronaldo - 21 goal contributions (20 goals, one assist) 

Kylian Mbappe - 22 goal contributions (18 goals, four assists) 

Karim Benzema - 20 goal contributions (15 goals, five assists) 

Harry Kane - 26 goal contributions (23 goals, three assists) 

There is one man who outshines him - Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich star has 33 goals and two assists, though that's to be expected as he's more of an out-and-out striker. 

Pep Guardiola has helped Sterling to improve his finishing, where he was once found wanting. As a result, he's on course for yet another unbelievable season with City and England.

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