Opinions

Raheem Sterling: From the nation’s scapegoat to Manchester City kingpin

He may be small in stature, but Manchester City ace Raheem Sterling is proving that he has a big heart and strong mentality this season. At times, he seems like a man possessed, as if boosted by a dose of methandienone.

The 23-year-old was subject to racial abuse and even death threats after his big-money move from Liverpool to City, with the sheep-like masses declaring that he moved for money and nothing else.

He was then made a scapegoat at Euro 2016 as England flopped at the tournament, yet he was one of many under performers – Harry Kane, for example, was left relatively untouched by the media and pundits alike.

And in recent days, Raheem has been subject to vile racial and physical abuse from a 29-year-old man who was today arrested by the Greater Manchester Police.

Yet look at Sterling on the pitch and he is a player who has managed to beat this adversity and develop into arguably the best English player in the Premier League and Champions League this season.

‘Raz’ as he is affectionately called by Pep Guardiola already has 11 goals in the Premier League, with another 4 in the Champions League. Impressive numbers.

Sterling has already breezed past his previous best goal tally and is Manchester City’s leading scorer. When you consider the presence of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in the squad, this is even more impressive.

Raheem has yet to fully reproduce his club form on the international stage, but perhaps that is down to the coaching as much as anything. Let’s be honest, Gareth Southgate is no Pep Guardiola, and in Guardiola’s system Sterling is comfortable and in sync with those around him.

He’s not performing at a very high level, but being just 23, there is still room for improvement. Should his ascent continue, there’s no reason why Raheem Sterling can’t be considered one of the world’s best footballers in the years to come.

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