Raheem Sterling has made remarkable progress as a player since making the breakthrough at Anfield in 2013. He moved to Manchester City in 2015 after enduring a disappointing time with the Reds under former manager Brendan Rodgers. He was part of the Reds team that came close to winning the Premier League title in 2014 before falling apart in the final few weeks of the campaign.
The 25 -year-old struggled for consistency in his first season with the Blues under Manuel Pellegrini. But Pep Guardiola’s arrival changed everything. The Catalan manager moved to the Etihad Stadium in 2016 and Sterling has grown in leaps and bounds under his tutelage. Sterling has consistently hit double figures for league goals per season since then and is now considered one of the best players in European football. His recent link with a move to Real Madrid is testament to that.
He played alongside Wayne Rooney for the England national team before Rooney retired from international football in 2017. The Manchester United legend has since gone on to play for Major League Soccer side D. C. United before returning home this season as player/coach with Championship side Derby County.
In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, the 34-year-old bared his mind on what he considers the main factor in Sterling’s improvement both at City and with the Three Lions. He considers Guardiola’s guidance as the most important factor in the player’s development.
“Raheem’s a player who played on instinct, a lot of ability, and you’re only seeing the best of him now,” Rooney said.
“He worked on it himself but it’s because of Pep Guardiola.
“Guardiola has got him into a mindset to know the game better and you see a massive difference.
“It’s knowing the right things to do and Guardiola is the best at teaching that, in my opinion.”
The sight of Raheem Sterling in a Manchester City shirt still irks most Liverpool fans. But that’s not just for the manner in which he left their club, it could be out of envy. Not many at Anfield will care much about him if his career had nosedived after he left the Merseysiders. The level of animosity towards him stems from the fact that he’s now so good he’s considered a threat to Liverpool’s ambitions as a City player.
However, having seen a dip in form at the beginning of this year, it’s hoped that he will come back reinvigorated after the unexpected break brought on by the spread of coronavirus.