One of Pep Guardiola’s first missions upon taking charge at Manchester City was to turn Raheem Sterling into the total footballer, and he has been largely successful in this regard. Now, he will call on the English forward to shine in the Champions League.
Sterling was expected to leave Manchester City when the former Barcelona coach arrived, yet instead, he has been the club’s most consistent performer in terms of goals and assists.
Whilst the 2021/22 season didn’t start outstandingly well for Sterling, his hat-trick against Norwich City last weekend has set him on the right path ahead of the resumption of the Champions League.
Only Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi have scored more goals under Guardiola than Sterling, however, the English forward has played the most matches under the Catalan coach, having notched up 275 appearances.
“No one doubts how important he is, if we count the number of games he has played since we’ve been together, there are many,” Guardiola declared.
“He is a key player, but in the future, I don’t know what will happen.
“I give my opinion, but the club decides on renewals.”
Sterling’s evolution under Guardiola
Sterling has scored 115 goals under Guardiola, and Manchester City will be hoping he continues to find the net in the Champions League meeting with Sporting CP on Tuesday night.
Guardiola introduced Sterling to the No.9 position, and this has allowed him to vastly increase his goalscoring output, having previously been stuck out wide.
Before Pep arrived in Manchester, Sterling had scored 34 goals in 176 matches, averaging 0.2 goals per game. Yet, with Guardiola, his average has risen to 0.4.