With that huge price tag on his head, and accusations that he only moved because of money, Sterling’s form nose-dived last season under Manuel Pellegrini.
Out of form and totally bereft of confidence, it was no surprise that Sterling struggled to produce for England at Euro 2016.
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The 21-year-old was heavily criticised by fans and pundits alike for his performances, although it was the City winger who won the penalty for England’s opening goal in their ill-fated last-16 clash against Iceland.
There were also reports that senior England stars lost confidence in Hodgson for continuing to select the youngster.
Sterling has been transformed under Guardiola
However, following several weeks of working under the management of Pep Guardiola, Sterling now looks a player reborn.
The confidence has come flooding back and he’s arguably producing the best performances of his career so far.
Sterling registered assists in the victories over Sunderland and Stoke City, and then scored a brace in the 3-1 victory over West Ham on Sunday.
He also provided two assists in City’s 5-0 away victory over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League play-off round first leg.
Guardiola's text message to Sterling
Guardiola watched Sterling’s performances for England at the European Championships and, fearing he was suffering a crisis of confidence, sent him a text message.
This was revealed shortly after the tournament and now we know, thanks to the Times’ chief football writer Henry Writer, precisely what that message said.
“Don't worry, I know you're a good player,” Guardiola text Sterling. “As long as you work for me, I'll fight for you.”
A simple text message has clearly worked wonders for Sterling, Guardiola and Manchester City.
Sterling on Guardiola's impact
"'Reborn', I keep seeing that word,” Sterling told Sky Sports after his Man of the Match display against West Ham. “It was difficult coming in that first season, and the manager has come in this season and given us a lot of courage.
"I'm not saying that Manuel didn't, but [Guardiola has] come in and given me a lot of authority to go forward. He's even had a go at me in the first half for not dribbling as much as I should do, so credit to him for giving me that boost."
Will Raheem Sterling be a serious contender for the PFA Player of the Year award this season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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